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Greater Baltimore Board of Realtors’ new executive VP, all about helping Realtors

This week, the Greater Baltimore Board of Realtors announced that Dwayne Carte was hired as the new executive vice president of the 3,400-member nonprofit.

Carte, 47, is a Realtor and a national motivational speaker and business coach from Minneapolis. He will officially join the Lutherville office on Nov. 21, replacing Joseph T. “Jody” Landers III, who resigned in June to launch an unsuccessful bid for the Democratic nomination for Baltimore mayor.

This week, Carte called The Daily Record from the annual meeting of the National Association of Realtors in Anaheim, Calif., to talk about the new mission at GBBR.

Q: How do we help the Realtors take advantage of all opportunities out there?

A: We’re getting more signs of some economic recovery and buyer activity. And there are always new evolutions of technology that can serve the client better. We have to focus on how we can we get them in front of the Realtors faster, so they can better serve buyers and sellers. How do we take the trade association to help their business needs in a more timely fashion?

Q: What is your background?

Dwayne Carte

A: I’m from Minneapolis and have been a Realtor there for 10 years where I have also been a national trainer on real estate topics. I have been giving classes somewhere on real estate for 100 days a year [for Encore Seminars, his company] for many years. I’ve been teaching classes as well as consulting with business associations on how to improve the education of their organizations. Before that, I was in information technology for 15 years. I have never lived in Baltimore before, but I’ve been through Baltimore several times on business. I can tell you one of the most exciting things about Baltimore is the seafood and the water. I was born and raised in New Orleans, and it is wonderful that I can now live near water and have seafood, and be closer to more of a coastal climate. (For the record, Carte is a Saints fan).

Q: How will you help Realtors here weather the storm of the recession?

A: We have to. I remind folks that while it is larger than we can probably remember, it’s not our first time at this rodeo. We have been through foreclosure and short sale markets before, and the reality is the real estate will still balance out in a more favorable fashion than the stock market. This recession provides an opportunity for first-time homeowners and investors to buy at interest rates where they have never been before. Our job as a Realtors association is to make sure we know where all the hundreds of different programs — federal and private — are out there and help find solutions.

Q: What will you do in your first couple of months at the GBBR?

A: Get to know the members and leadership team, and once I can manage that, I want to be out more in the community with city and county officials introducing myself to them.

Q: Where will you live here?

A: I will live in the city, near Cross Keys, because it is between downtown and the GBBR offices. Anyplace my wife and I decide to move to, we rent for the first year or two to get to know the area.”

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This week’s announcement that parts of the Owings Mills Mall will be razed for a redesign was welcome news to those who have watched the shell of what was once a successful suburban retail development go to seed.

They even created a new word to describe the transformation, “de-mall,” as though going to the mall has now fallen out our social lexicon or something.

Few details followed Thursday’s announcement that the mall would be enhanced by $65 million in redevelopments by new co-owners Kimco Realty and General Growth Properties. Many details remain to be fully ironed out — like who is financing, when will the project commence and end and what will the new development look like?

The good news is the mall won’t be the only structure undergoing upgrades in Owings Mills.

This summer, Baltimore County development officials broke ground on a $30 million mixed use Owings Mills Metro Center, a six-story, 120,000-square-foot building that when completed will be home to the largest branch of the Baltimore County Public Library, as well as Community College of Baltimore County classrooms and offices.

Nearby, Stevenson University is growing from its tiny, bucolic Greenspring Valley campus  into a major suburban campus.  National diet company Medifast has 350 employees in three Owings Mills-based buildings, including the recently 3600 Crondall Lane where its corporate headquarters roost.

With commercial development along Reisterstown Road a strong competitor, the new Owings Mills Mall plans will need extra boost.

The mall was originally developed by the Rouse Co. and opened in 1986 as part of a plan to turn Owings Mills into another Columbia-like setting with upscale housing and lots of open parkland and a lake.

Of course, those plans never totally  materialized even though the mall was gilded by a Saks Fifth Avenue store and a Macy’s, along with other smaller shops and restaurants. For a while, it was the go-to place for shopaholics in the area, many of whom no doubt now go to the mega Arundel Mills mall or the upscale wing of the Towson Town Center to get a fancy retail fix.

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Continental Realty this week announced that Suburban Ace Hardware signed a lease with for 11,200 square feet of retail space at Railroad Crossing in Cockeysville. The store that has operated at 10757 York Rd. since 1987 is now located in expanded space at 10912 York Rd. — a move of a mere 400 yards.

“We have generated an extremely loyal base of residential and business customers in this location and, though we desperately needed more space, did not wish to stray too far from a place that has worked so well,” said Mike Boulay, president and owner of Suburban. “In the hardware business, you can only sell what consumers see and with nearly 50 percent more retail space, we have added many more items to our product offering.

The Railroad Crossing development is a three-building portfolio on ten acres with 160,000 square feet of warehouse, industrial and retail space. Additional tenants include Futuretek, Maryland Profinish and Sun Ventures.
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TIDBITS: The Maryland Higher Education Commission will officially open shop in Baltimore Monday. The state agency is relocating from Annapolis and the new address is in town is 6 N. Liberty St. … Trout Daniel & Associates announced it will serve as the tenant representative for Active Culture LLC, franchisee for Sweet Frog frozen yogurt, to locate new shops in the 40 West Shopping Center at 852 North Rolling Rd. by the end of the year. Sweet Frog is a growing frozen yogurt chain with locations in Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina. Hop on in for its self-serve fro-yo machines and topping bars with goodies ranging from peanut butter crumbs to fresh fruits. . . The Evolution Craft Brewery and Public House has leased a 22,000-square-foot former ice plant in Salisbury for a new headquarters, brewery, restaurant and bar. The location at 201 E. Vine Street in the Eastern Shore town was leased by Brent Miller, of
Sperry Van Ness — Miller Commercial Real Estate. Evolution Craft Brewing Co.  has been tagged one of the 12 breweries to watch in 2011 by DRAFT magazine, and the expansion is expected to help the company redefine its brew crew’s capacity and push out past its current distribution areas of Maryland, Delaware, Washington, and northern Virginia. The company is owned by brothers Tom Knorr and John Knorr.