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Real Estate Weekly – 7/15/11: Curator sought for state-owned home in Baltimore County

Curator sought for state-owned home in Baltimore County

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources will hold an open house on July 23 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the historic Barrans House in Baltimore County. The home was built around 1930 as a prefabricated kit house from Sears Roebuck & Co., and contains original design features including woodwork, molding and fixtures. The house sits on two acres at 1527 Providence Road near Towson, adjacent to Cromwell Valley Park. It is available for restoration under the department’s resident-curatorship program, through which private donations are sought for the restoration and maintenance of state-owned historic buildings. The selected curator pledges to restore the property and maintain it in good condition after the renovation. In return for the time, expense and work needed to complete the restoration, the curator will receive a lifetime, rent-free lease on the property. For more information about the house and the program, contact Emily Burrows at 410-260-8457 or email eburrows.@dnr.state.md.us<mailto:eborrows@dmr/state.md.us>.

Residential lots in Garrett County to be sold at auction

Rawlings Auction, Appraisal & Realty LLC announced a public auction of six residential building lots in McHenry on Tuesday. The lots are located in the Red Oaks development directly off Sang Run Road, at the base of the Wisp Ski Resort and minutes from Deep Creek Lake, according to auctioneer Steve Rawlings. The lots “are perked and ready to build, with utilities available at the curb,” Rawlings said. Ranging in size from 1.04 acres to 1.34 acres, the lots are located in a development that has homes. Similar lots sold earlier at prices ranging from $137,000 to more than $200,000, Rawlings said. The auction will be conducted both online and on-site. Bids are being accepted through Monday, after which the highest bid received online per lot will be the opening bid for the live, on-site auction on Tuesday, starting at noon. For information on the properties or on registering to bid online or at the live auction, go to www.rawlingsauctionservice.com or call 301-473-5796.

REIT buys Calif. hotel

Chesapeake Lodging Trust of Annapolis, a hotel real estate investment trust, said it acquired the 171-room Hotel Adagio, a luxury boutique hotel located at San Francisco’s Union Square. CLT paid $42.25 million, or approximately $247,000 per room, borrowing from its revolving credit facility. CLT did not identify the seller, but said management of the hotel will continue with Joie de Vivre Hospitality, which is controlled by a company affiliated with a member of the Pritzker family, founder of the Hyatt Hotel chain. CLT currently owns 10 hotel properties in four states and Washington, D.C. with a total of 2,777 rooms.

FRIT refinances

Federal Realty Investment Trust, a Rockville-based real estate investment trust, announced the closing of a new $400 million unsecured revolving credit facility. Proceeds will be used to retire outstanding obligations under a $300 million revolving credit line that was scheduled to mature on July 27. The new facility will mature in July 2015, with an optional one-year extension. In addition, FRIT has an option to increase the amount through an accordion feature to $800 million. Almost a dozen U.S. and international banks are backing the facility. FRIT owns and manages retail space primarily in the Northeast, the mid-Atlantic and California.

Indusco Group acquired

The Indusco Group of Baltimore, which owns and operates a network of companies along the Eastern Seaboard and in the South that sell industrial wire rope, riggings and fittings used in construction, has been acquired by Cleveland-based Mazzella Holding Co. Mazzella Lifting Technologies, part of Mazzella Holding, makes wire rope, rigging hardware and below-the-hook lifting devices, and manufactures and services overhead cranes. According to the announcement, the combined Indusco and Mazzella form one of the largest independently owned companies in the overhead lifting and rigging industries. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

Baltimore County bridge took two years to build

The Cherry Hill Road Bridge, a construction project in Baltimore County that has been underway for more than two years, will open Tuesday. The occasion will be marked at 11:30 a.m. with a short ceremony featuring County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, other officials, contractors, engineers and citizens who helped bring the project to fruition. The 513-foot-long bridge spans Gwynns Falls and the CSX Railroad tracks, and connects two major arteries, Owings Mills Boulevard and Reisterstown Road. In addition, according to county engineers, it should alleviate traffic cutting through several Owings Mills-Reisterstown communities, which has been a sore spot for residents. The two-lane bridge is a steel girder construction with a concrete deck and stone form liner abutments. It was built by Corman Construction Co., a Maryland-Virginia firm, at a cost of $6 million.

AAACCVB opens office at Annapolis’ Market House

The Annapolis & Anne Arundel County Conference and Visitors Bureau has opened a satellite information center at the Market House across from City Dock in downtown Annapolis. The AAACCVB and nine other vendors, mostly area food and specialty businesses, have signed short-term leases to operate at the city-owned landmark until Jan. 2, 2012. The seasonal information booth that the AAACCVB has traditionally operated next to the harbor master’s office will be closed during this time. Staffed by volunteers, the Market House satellite information center is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Choice Hotels International chooses Rockville for new HQ

Choice Hotels International Inc. of Silver Spring, a franchise hotel chain, said it will move its headquarters to Rockville when the lease on its current headquarters building expires in 2013. The company, which has been based in Silver Spring since 1968, said it executed a lease on its new headquarters building at 121 Rockville Pike in Rockville Town Center, where it will occupy approximately 130,000 square feet of Class A office space. The building will be developed, constructed, owned and managed by the Rockville-based Foulger-Pratt Cos. Construction will take about two years, with occupancy in spring 2013, according to the announcement.

Former Ellicott City post office building to become visitors’ center

A construction project to renovate and restore the Historic Ellicott City Post Office at 8267 Main St. as a Howard County visitors’ center is currently underway. The renovation of the 2,726-square-foot building will include new office space and a visitors’ center with an open floor plan. “Recent industry studies show that the more time a visitor spends in a Welcome Center, the more time and money they spend in that destination because they are better informed,” said County Executive Ken Ulman. “The Howard County Welcome Center is a wise investment for present and future generations of visitors and local businesses throughout the County who will benefit from the referrals.” Centennial Contractors Enterprise Inc. of Baltimore is the general contractor on the project, and the cost is approximately $240,000, according to county officials. Weather permitting, the project is expected to be completed by late October.

Flooring replacement donors at Children’s Museum to get tax credits

The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development has awarded the Port Discovery Children’s Museum in downtown Baltimore $20,000 in Community Investment Tax Credits for contributors who support the museum’s flooring replacement project. Businesses and individuals that donate a minimum of $500 to the flooring replacement project will receive tax credits equal to 50 percent of the value of the contribution. These tax credits are in addition to the deductions on both federal and state taxes as a result of the charitable contributions. The proposed flooring replacement project will replace the original 12-year-old carpet throughout the museum, as well as installation of safety flooring materials surrounding KidWorks, the museum’s active play area. More than 3 million people have visited the museum since it opened in 1998. For information on the replacement project or on making contributions, go to www.portdiscovery.org or call Dawn Sacks at 410-864-2656.

LEASES

Telford Aviation Inc., a division of ACC Holding Inc., has executed a lease with St. John Properties Inc. for 11,160 square feet at the Government and Technology Enterprise (GATE) project, a 416-acre business community within Aberdeen Proving Ground in Harford County. The Milwaukee-based company will consolidate program management, training and technical staff to the Aberdeen Proving Ground location. Telford Aviation will occupy 6165 Guardian Gateway, a 51,120 square foot R&D/office/flex building that is expected to be completed next month, and has been designed to meet LEED Silver standards. The building will satisfy federal anti-terrorism/force protection standards, providing Telford with the opportunity to sublease/license space to its federal customers. St. John Properties has started and/or delivered nine speculative office and R&D buildings at the GATE project, totaling more than 526,000 square feet of space. Over the next five to 10 years, the project is anticipated to grow up to 2 million square feet.

Manekin LLC has leased a 10,000-square-foot retail outlet at 6709-C Whitestone Road in Woodlawn to Kids Furniture Warehouse. The company sells name-brand children’s furniture and accessories, from single pieces to complete bedroom sets. With brands like Lea, Young America, Berg, Bolton and Trendwood, the outlet carries cribs, bunk beds, loft beds, modular lofts, captain’s beds, canopy beds, sleigh beds, storage beds, trundle beds, platform beds, mattress sets and more. David Paulson of Manekin, LLC represented landlord, Generation III LLC, in the lease negotiation with Christopher Bond, who had owned and operated Kid’s Space, a 4,200-square-foot retail store in Westminster, since 2004. Opting to change the concept to an outlet with larger inventory, Bond closed Kid’s Space on June 30 to focus exclusively on Kids Furniture Warehouse. Bond, who signed a five-year lease, said the property’s “great beltway location” is what most attracted him “to open in the new, larger space.”

MacKenzie Commercial Real Estate Services LLC reported the following recent lease signings:

* Washington Maritime Shipping Corp. leased 1,557 square feet of office space at Annapolis City Marina, 410 Severn Ave. in Annapolis from landlord Annapolis City Marina LLLP. MacKenzie’s Patricia Farrell and Christopher C. Bennett took part in the negotiations.

* Mid Atlantic Nephrolog associates leased 7,959 square feet of office space at McDonogh Crossroads, 25 Crossroads Drive in Owings Mills from McDonogh Joint Venture Ltd. Partnership LLLP. MacKenzie’s representative was Julio O. Purcell.

* The University of Maryland, Baltimore, leased 5,650 square feet of office space at 1501 S. Edgewood St. in Baltimore from Canton 95 Associates LLC. The listing agent was not identified.

* Nabalee’s Family Martial Arts Center LLC leased 4,800 square feet of office space at 8924 McGaw Court in Columbia. The landlord is 8924 McGaw Court LLC. Lacey A. O’Neil of MacKenzie was the agent involved in the negotiations.

PERSONNEL

St. John Properties Inc. announced the promotion of Sean Doordan to Assistant Vice President, Leasing. Doordan, who has worked for the company since 2005, will continue to oversee the marketing and leasing efforts for the St. John Properties portfolio of commercial office and R&D/flex in the Anne Arundel and Prince George’s counties’ marketplaces. This includes identifying companies searching for new or expanded office, industrial and warehouse space, assisting with the negotiation for new or renewal leases, and forming and maintaining relationships with real estate brokerage professionals.

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