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Melody Simmons’ real estate notebook, 5/27/11

News this week that Trout Daniel & Associates has teamed up with Manekin LLC to lease a new mixed-use development at Park Place in Bel Air is adding to the real estate blitz now underway in Harford County because of BRAC.

The project will include three Class A buildings, totaling more than 100,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space at 1921 Emmorton Rd.

The Trout Daniel team will be lead by Rene F. Daniel, principal of Trout Daniel & Associates; Matthew J. Haas, vice president of Manekin; and Joe Bradley, senior associate at  Manekin.

Lease agreements will soon be announced, Daniel said, but already Walgreens and Sonic have inked deals at Park Place, joining the already open and operating Goddard School and Freedom Bank.

Daniel, reached in Las Vegas just as the annual International Council of Shopping Centers’ ReCon conference was wrapping up this week, reported the show was successful with 30,000 registrants.

With the recession still gripping tight on retail leases with high vacancy rates, Daniel said he nevertheless remained optimistic.

“The overall mood was positive,” he reported. “But it takes a while to figure out what really happens at the show.”

The next 12 months, Daniel predicted, will be a time of number crunching.

“I think what happens now is the banks begin to evaluate the real status of outstanding loans and have to make decisions of what to do with properties challenged by vacancies, failure and inability on the part of the owners to make mortgage payments because they don’t have enough cash flow,” he said. “That will result in quite a number of available properties on the market. There will be some action on the market and it will be pretty good. I think there will be deals.”

Maryland, Daniel added, “is in good stead.” Chains like Quiznos, Party City and Mattress Warehouse are setting up shop in the state.

“It has suffered its losses in terms of industries moving out and is in a prime position for comeback,” Daniel said, of Maryland’s prospects. “Lots of people are talking about the state and making deals in the state.”


If you’re entertaining a stay-cation this year, check out the latest edition of Fodor’s Guide to Virginia and Maryland. The nearly 500-page book is the 11th edition and offers oodles of advice on local and regional travel from experts who live in our area, including local freelance journalist Donna Marie Owens. Listings include budget-based advice as well as hotels and restaurants.

Another new publication worth reading is “The Broker’s Bible: The Way Back to Profit for Today’s Real Estate Company,” by Nancy Gardner.

Gardner, a Fairfax, Va.-based Realtor since 1979,  self-published the book. In it, she dissects the way real estate selling has changed in the book. She also offers advice for the current state of the market, challenging to say the least for most brokers. This is a great resource for brokers who want to up the ante for business prospects.


Mondawmin Mall is the launching pad for a citywide E-Cycling campaign to collect old and unwanted cell phones.

And this effort pays off.

For every two  cell phones dropped off, participants will receive a $10 Shop Etc. Mall Gift Card from Mondawmin. The electronic recycling effort will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on June 10-12.  Participants are asked to drop-off old and unwanted cell phones in bins at the mall’s Center Court. Mondawmin is owned by General Growth Properties and located at 2401 Liberty Heights Ave.


A new chain of grocery stores featuring locally-raised meat, 100 percent organic produce and fresh-baked bread will open for business in the Yorkridge Shopping Center Saturday.

MOM’s Organic Market will be a 14,000-square-foot store – the seventh location of the 24-year-old chain and the largest in Maryland.

MOM’s are designed to be eco-friendly shops with a mission set forth by founder Scott Nash to help protect and restore the environment. Exhibit A here is the electric car charging stations in MOM’s parking lots and skylights allowing natural spotlights on the organics lining the shelves below.

Yorkridge is a Schwaber Properties location with 165,000 square feet of retail anchored by Kohl’s and Michaels.

In other shopping center news this week, Chesapeake Real Estate Group announced it is eyeing plans to develop a large, yup-scale shopping center at Canton Crossing on the waterfront.

This is the site where beleaguered banker Ed Hale had once hoped to build the city’s second Target. The new plans could call for a chic grocery chain to set up shop near the boat slips and waterfront condos.

Exxon-Mobile Corp. currently owns the 32-acre site and the deal will involve 20 acres for the new retail venture.

Officials say more details will be released next week.


This past Tuesday, 16 students from Beechfield Elementary Middle School in Baltimore took a field trip to the Ayers Saint Gross offices at Tide Point to learn more about the architecture field and present school projects to members of the architectural firm.

Last year, the firm started a six-week mentorship program with a select group of fifth graders from Vanessa Koonce’s class at the inner city school with hopes of sparking interest in the field of architecture. At present, only 1.5 percent of registered architects in the U.S. are African-American.

Says Jim Wheeler, president of Ayers Saint Gross: “By exposing these students to the creativity of architecture and design, we aim to encourage their interest in these fields as possible a career path while teaching them to be more visually literate.”

One comment

  1. Melody

    Send me an email!