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Real Estate Weekly: Ray Lewis launches Fla.-based commercial real estate firm

Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis has launched RL52 Realty, a commercial real estate firm based in Boca Raton, Fla.

The company, one of several ventures Lewis is rolling out under the RL52 brand, will be comprised of four divisions. The real estate purchase and sale division will work on retail, multi-family and hospitality transactions. The retail leasing and franchise division will help clients find space and explore franchising opportunities. The property service and support division will handle property and asset management business. And the community and urban redevelopment division will work on neighborhood revitalization programs.

Lewis and his team are unveiling the firm at the International Council of Shopping Center’s conference in Orlando, Fla., to be held Sunday through Tuesday.

“South Florida  is home to the fifth-largest metropolitan market in the U.S. We believe this area currently offers one of the most opportunistic commercial real estate environments in the country,” said Lewis in a statement. “Our team already has deep community ties and a solid infrastructure to deliver the kind of world class results you can come to expect from a Ray Lewis organization. We plan to open additional offices in high-value metro markets.”

New business park near Fort Meade spurs leasing activity

A new office park near Arundel Mills mall is beginning to fill up with tenants.

Praemittias Group Inc., a Denver-based defense contractor that focuses on asymmetric warfare, has leased 10,800 square feet in Arundel Overlook, a new, 68-acre business park, as part of an expansion near Fort George G. Meade related to the ongoing Base Realignment and Closure, or BRAC, process. This fall, 30 employees are expected to move in.

The business park, near the intersection of Route 100 and the Baltimore-Washington Parkway at 980 Mercantile Drive., holds 313,000 square feet of space. Last year, the defense contractor 3Di Technologies leased 9,000 square feet in the park, developed by St. John Properties Inc.

Groundbreaking set for UB’s new Angelos Law Center
A groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled to be held on Thursday for the University of Baltimore’s new John and Frances Angelos Law Center.

Gov. Martin O’Malley and University of Baltimore President Robert L. Bogomolny will officiate at the ceremony, at which several hundred people are expected to attend. The $107 million, 190,000-square-foot  project at North Charles Street and Mount Royal Avenue will provide additional space for the UB School of Law, the sixth-largest public law school in the country.

Over the past two years, the university secured $15 million in private funding to support design, development and construction and to be used in conjunction with funding from the state of Maryland.  UB School of Law alumnus Peter Angelos, LL.B. ’61; the Whiting-Turner Contracting Co.; Sayra Wells Meyerhoff, J.D. ’78, M.S. ’04, and Neil Meyerhoff; Jana Howard Carey, J.D. ’76, and James H. Carey; The Abell Foundation; and Renée Bronfein Ades, J.D. ’00, are among the lead private donors for the new law center.

Behnisch Architekten of Stuttgart, Germany, in partnership with Baltimore’s Ayers/Saint/Gross, was selected to design the John and Frances Angelos Law Center following an international competition.

Tower Federal Credit Union opens fifth branch in Anne Arundel County
Tower Federal Credit Union opened a new branch this week in Annapolis.

The 1,650-square-foot branch at 2525 Riva Road features remote teller stations, which function as a walk-up version of the drive-through window. Inside the branch, members talk to live tellers through a screen and handset, and transactions occur through a pneumatic tube.  This speeds up service because of shorter lines, maintains the touch of a personal interaction, improves safety and ensures privacy.

The branch also features a 24-hour walk-up ATM. In addition to the Annapolis branch, Tower has branches in  Pasadena, Gambrills, Millersville and Arundel Mills. The credit union is slated to open another branch at the National Business Park in Annapolis Junction in the fall, bringing to 11 the total number of the community branches.

In addition to Anne Arundel County, Tower has branch locations in Prince George’s, Howard and Baltimore Counties.

New York company acquires Columbia apartment complex
The Greens at Columbia, a 187,952 square-foot, 168-unit garden apartment complex located at 12215 Little Patuxent Parkway in Columbia, has been sold to New York-based Home Properties Inc.

As part of the transaction, the buyer assumed the existing debt of $9.6 million from M & T Realty Capital Corporation /Fannie Mae. The previous owner was Baltimore-based The Greens at Columbia LP.

The CB Richard Ellis Washington DC Multi-Housing Investment Properties Group of Bill Roohan, Mike Muldowney, Michael Rudolph, Brian Margerum and Martha Hastings brokered the deal.

This Week in Leases:

  • The Tower Cos. of Rockville, a real estate development company and the largest LEED developer of sustainable properties in the Washington, D.C. area, said that the Metropolitan NeuroEar Group signed an 11-year lease to occupy 10,000 square feet of space on the on the 9th floor of The Tower Building, located on the I-270 Tech Corridor in Rockville. The Tower Building, designed by Kishimoto.Gordon.Dalaya.PC, is powered by 100 percent wind energy and was the first green office building in the Washington metropolitan area when it opened in 2001. In 2009, the building achieved LEED Silver certification. Adam Schindler of Studley represented the Metropolitan NeuroEar Group, while CBRE’s Andy Cole represented The Tower Cos.
  • Mid-Atlantic Industrial Construction LLC, a mechanical contracting firm, has signed a lease for 3,282 square feet at 152 Blades Lane in Glen Burnie. The two-building commercial property is owned by Merritt Properties, which was represented by the team of Jamie Campbell, Ridgely Bowman, Vince Bagli and Steve Shaw.