Real Estate Weekly: LaSalle Hotel Properties sells Minn. property for $20M

LaSalle Hotel Properties, a lodging real estate investment trust based in Bethesda, said it sold the 564-room Sheraton Bloomington Hotel in Minneapolis for $20 million.

The REIT received net proceeds of $19.6 million after payment of transaction costs and fees, which it said it will use to reduce the outstanding balance on its senior unsecured credit facility. LaSalle did not identify the buyer of the property.

According to the hotel’s website, the hotel is managed by Starwood Hotels & Resorts, and is located about 10 minutes away from the Mall of America and the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport.

Hogan Cos. promotes Ermer to v.p.
Jake Ermer, who has helped closed real estate deals valuing more than $10 million in recent years, has been promoted to vice president of The Hogan Cos., a land brokerage firm based in Annapolis.

At Hogan, Ermer has focused in marketing distressed bank-owned properties on the Eastern Shore and in Stafford County, Va., as well as sales of land and residential properties, development of residential subdivisions, forest mitigation and third-party consulting.

Ermer is a member in the Baltimore Chapter of the Urban Land Institute and the Home Builders Association of Maryland.

Howard apartment project wins award
Howard County’s Housing Commission has been awarded the “2010 Pioneer in Housing Award” (Small Agency) from Nan McKay & Associates Inc., for the Commission’s 269-unit mixed-income community, Monarch Mills, currently under construction on Oakland Mills Road in Columbia.

Monarch Mills, a former low-income housing development known as Guilford Gardens, will feature residential units that meet the Enterprise Green Communities criteria,  a LEED gold-certified clubhouse with business and learning centers, a swimming pool, walking paths and green spaces, a senior building with a geothermal heating and cooling system, rain water cisterns, recycled materials and energy-efficient appliances and fixtures.

The project was developed through a partnership established between the Housing Commission and the Shelter Group using a variety of federal, state and local funds, as well as private financing from the Columbia Bank.  The development’s first buildings are set to open in early 2011, with monthly rents ranging from $360 to $1,900.  The property is being managed by Shelter Management.

REIT acquires D.C. office building, agrees to purchase another one
Washington Real Estate Investment Trust has acquired 1140 Connecticut Avenue, NW, a 12-story, 184,135-square-foot office building with a three-level parking garage in Washington, D.C., for $80.25 million.

WRIT has also entered into a contract to purchase 1227 25th Street, NW, an eight-story, 130,434-square-foot office building with a two-level parking garage in Washington for $47.0 million. WRIT anticipates closing on this property during 2011’s first quarter.

1140 Connecticut Avenue is 99 percent leased to 25 office tenants and four retail tenants. WRIT funded this acquisition using available cash and its line of credit, and said it expects to achieve a first-year unleveraged yield of 6 percent on a cash basis.

1227 25th Street is 72 percent leased to the U.S. General Services Administration and law firm tenants. It is located immediately adjacent to WRIT’s 2445 M Street office building acquired in 2008. WRIT also plans to fund this acquisition using available cash and its line of credit, and projects a stabilized cash yield of 8.7 percent.

Jewelry distributor buys Columbia building
Lund Trading LLC, which maintains the North American and Caribbean Island license for the sale and distribution of the popular Trollbeads line of jewelry and accessories, purchased 6822 Oak Hall Lane, a 40,000-square-foot flex/office building in Columbia for $3.7 million.

The company intends to relocate its office and distribution operations from 8300 Guilford Road into approximately 25,000 square feet of space in the single-story building. Morten Petersen, the founder and owner of Lund Trading has leased the balance of the building — approximately 15,000 square feet —- for the relocation of Looks Salon and Spa, which plans to move from its current retail location at 10015 Old Columbia Road in Columbia.

Both businesses intend to move to the new location during the second quarter, according to the announcement. NAI KLNB brokered this transaction with Allan Riorda representing the buyer and Chuck Breitenother and Tim Gardner, also of NAI KLNB, representing the seller, Oak Hall LLC.

Purple line development on drawing board
Montgomery County officials said a mixed-used development will be built next to a future purple line light rail station in Silver Spring.

Officials said Wednesday that the project will be built by the Washington-based Donohoe Cos. and the Montgomery Housing Partnership on a one-acre site at Fenton and Bonifant streets. The site is near the new Silver Spring library, which is set to open in 2014.

The project will include mixed-income residential units and commercial space, county spokeswoman Mary Anderson said. Trains could start running on the purple line in 2016.

Holland Construction names new senior project manager

Holland Construction, a full-service construction management company with offices throughout the mid-Atlantic and southwest Florida region, has selected Tom Klunk as its new senior project manager.

He was formerly project manager for Richard D. Poole LLC. In his new position, Mr. Klunk will be responsible for the organization, management and execution of construction projects throughout the Pennsylvania and Maryland region, with specific responsibilities acting as a liaison for Holland Construction with various sub-contracting companies and the customer.

Klunk has more than 25 years of diversified construction management experience.

Washington Property Co. acquires land

Washington Property Co. of Bethesda said it acquired 9.41 acres in Chantilly, Va., for an undisclosed amount.

The land is site plan-approved for the development of a 143,667-square-foot office building known as Stonegate III. The pad is the third phase of a three-building office campus in Westfields Corporate Center, an office park in western Fairfax County.

The seller, SA Stonegate III LLC, was represented by Chip Ryan, Jim Kornick and Matt Clinebell of Northmarq Investment Services.

The Week in Leases

  • Retro Fitness said it plans to open its first low-cost gym and fitness center in the Baltimore metropolitan area this spring at the Timonium Business Center. The Colts Neck, N.J.-based company signed a lease with St. John Properties Inc. for 12,000 square feet of space at the business center at 2125-2249 Greenspring Drive. Retro Fitness, which has more than 60 franchise locations throughout the East Coast, also has a gym at the Columbia Crossing shopping center in Jessup and is scouting additional sites throughout the state. Timonium Business Center is a 190,000-square-foot, mixed-use project with warehouse, commercial office and retail space.
  • The Department of Veterans Affairs’ Readjustment Counseling Service opened the new Baltimore County Vet Center in the Danville Square Shopping Center, 1527 Merritt Blvd., in Dundalk. The 3,000-square-foot leased space opened on Jan. 3, and offers an array of services to assist eligible veterans and their families in their post-military readjustment. Services provided include individual and group counseling; family counseling for military related issues; bereavement counseling for families who experience an active duty death; military sexual trauma counseling and referral services for all Veterans; outreach and education, post-deployment health reassessments, community events and activities; substance abuse assessments and referrals; and employment assessments and referrals. The center is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with evening hours available by appointment. The Danville Square Shopping Center location is temporary, according to Paula M. Wolff, a team leader at the center.
  • Fort Meade Alliance Opens Dedicated Offices The Fort Meade Alliance has moved its headquarters from donated space at the Anne Arundel County Economic Development Corp.’s offices in Annapolis to leased quarters in Hanover, just five miles from the Fort George G. Meade gate. Corporate Office Properties Trust leased the new, 1,674-square-foot office space to the Fort Meade Alliance. COPT worked with FMA officials to secure office space in time for the new year. FMA members Wilhelm Commercial Builders and Vision Technologies donated other services such as construction additions and technology upgrades. The office space includes a reception area, conference room, and several offices where FMA members can work or conduct meetings, if needed. Established in 2005, the Fort Meade Alliance is an independent community membership organization created to promote and support Fort George G. Meade as an economic asset and resource to the region. It currently has 250 member companies, representing approximately 60,000 employees in the Fort Meade region. This is a 40 percent increase in the number of member companies from January 2010.