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Real Estate Weekly – 11/11/11: Five towns designated as Sustainable Communities

Aggregate Industries acquires Ennstone

Aggregate Industries US of Rockville, a provider of aggregate and construction materials, said it closed the asset purchase transaction of Falmouth, Va.-based Ennstone Inc. Details of the agreement were not disclosed. Ennstone is a vertically integrated construction materials company with ready mix, sand and gravel and limestone operations serving commercial, residential and industrial projects, as well as individual homeowners.

Realtors’ group names new leader

Dwayne Carte, a Realtor and national business speaker from Minneapolis, is the new executive vice president of the 3,400-member Greater Baltimore Board of Realtors. Carte was hired Nov. 1, a GBBR spokeswoman said Tuesday. His selection followed a national search by a committee composed of past GBBR presidents and board members. He replaces Joseph T. “Jody” Landers III, who headed the GBBR for 13 years before he resigned in June to launch an unsuccessful bid for the Democratic nomination for mayor of Baltimore.

Sweet Frog leaps into Maryland

Trout Daniel & Associates, a full-service commercial real estate company, recently announced it will serve as the tenant representative for Active Culture LLC, a Sweet Frog yogurt franchisee in Maryland. Trout Daniel has also negotiated a lease agreement for a 2,000-square-foot retail space in the 40 West Shopping Center. The site, located at 852 North Rolling Road in southwestern Baltimore County, is slated to open by the end of the year. Sweet Frog is a frozen yogurt chain with locations in Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina. The shop offers self-serve machines and houses a topping bar, ranging from peanut butter crumbs to fresh fruits. Rene Daniel and Scott Garfield with Trout Daniel represented Active Culture. Patricia Palumbo, director of leasing and marketing, and Dan Flamholz, a leasing associate from Metropolitan Management Co., represented 40 West Shopping Center.

Three Kent Co. schools to get solar power The Kent County Commissioners and Board of Education signed a 20-year contract with Washington Gas Energy Services Inc. to build a 1,579 kilowatt solar array to power Kent County High School, Worton Elementary School and the Kent County Community Center. The system will be installed by Standard Solar of Rockville and owned and operated by WGES. The ground mount system will be built on 10 acres of land owned by the Board of Education and will provide clean, renewable, emissions-free electricity to the three county facilities. The solar photovoltaic system will produce approximately 2,100 megawatt hours of clean electricity per year, the equivalent of eliminating greenhouse gas emissions from 162,339 gallons of gasoline annually, or 3.25 million gallons over the life of the contract. With no upfront cost to Kent County and the Board of Education, the county will purchase the electricity generated by the system under a long-term power purchase agreement with WGES. Construction on the project is scheduled to begin this month, and is expected to be completed in late spring of 2012.

Five towns designated as Sustainable Communities

State officials from the departments of Planning and Housing and Community Development have designated five communities in Maryland under the state’s Sustainable Communities Act of 2010: Aberdeen, Cumberland, Hyattsville, Laurel and Westminster.

“The Sustainable Communities program aims at helping existing communities, such as the five announced today, to create clear action plans for revitalization,” said DHCD Secretary Raymond A. Skinner. “As these plans unfold throughout Maryland — with Transit Oriented Development, new business facades, improved opportunities for affordable housing in revitalized towns and cities — I believe that a clear vision for sustainable communities will emerge.”

Governments, residents and businesses in sustainable communities are eligible to receive state benefits, such as gap financing, job creation tax credits and historic structure rehabilitation tax credits.

Bunting Center lobby wins craftsmanship awards

Mercy Medical Center’s new hospital, The Mary Catherine Bunting Center, won a number of awards for the new Main Lobby features at the 73rd Annual Craftsmanship Awards of the Building Congress & Exchange.

Among the lobby features that received recognition for outstanding craftsmanship were:

• The Chapel of Light Glass Nugget Wall created by TSI Exterior Wall Systems.

• The Lobby Floor Marble with Green Mercy Cross installed by Rugo Stone.

• The Chapel of Light Limestone Entrance Sign carved by Rugo Stone.

• The Mercy Cornerstone with Hospital History carved by Rugo Stone.

• The Jerusalem Limestone Lobby Walls installed by Rugo Stone.

Mercy President and CEO Thomas R. Mullen thanked Whiting-Turner Contracting Co. the general contractor, “for their oversight and selection of the outstanding subcontractors who created and installed these distinctive lobby feature elements. Our new hospital continues to attract attention for its quality,” Mullen said.

Suburban Ace Hardware expands in Cockeysville

Suburban Ace Hardware has signed a lease with Baltimore-based Continental Realty Corp. for 11,200 square feet of retail space at Railroad Crossing in Cockeysville. The retail outlet, which has been at 10757 York Road since 1987, opened its expanded space at 10912 York Road last week.

“Though we desperately needed more space, [we] did not wish to stray too far from a place that has worked so well,” said Mike Boulay, president and owner of Suburban Ace Hardware. “With nearly 50 percent more retail space, we have added many more items to our product offering. In reality, our new location is only 400 yards from our previous one,”

Railroad Crossing, a three-building complex on 10 acres, offers 160,000 square feet of warehouse, industrial and retail space.

Lawrence Rief, partner of Continental Realty Corp., negotiated the lease on behalf of the company.

Big Lots opens Reisterstown Road Plaza store

Big Lots Inc., North America’s largest broadline closeout retailer, was to hold grand opening ceremonies on Friday for its newest store in Maryland, a 25,000-square-foot location at 6790 Reisterstown Road in the Reisterstown Road Plaza. Big Lots stores stock merchandise that typically sells for 20 to 40 percent less than discount stores and up to 70 percent below traditional retailers. Products include everyday consumables, seasonal goods, home decor, electronics, toys, brand-name furniture, mattresses and one-time closeouts. This is one of some 90 stores the retailer is opening in 2011. Big Lots operates 1,415 stores in the continental U.S., and 88 Liquidation World and LW stores in Canada.

Centric Business Systems opens new headquarters

Centric Business Systems Inc. held grand opening ceremonies Thursday at its new corporate headquarters at 10702 Red Run Blvd. in Owings Mills. The 39,000-square-foot building gives Centric, a provider of business equipment serving Baltimore, Washington and the mid-Atlantic region, more than twice the amount of space as its old headquarters location contained. The LEED Gold-qualified building houses a state-of-the-art showroom/customer service center; a call center; on-site training facilities; employee wellness center; a living wall with air-enhancing plants; and numerous green building features. Centric has 130 employees, with the potential to hire 30 more. About 85 employees work in Owings Mills, with the remainder spread out over Centric’s other offices in Rockville, Hagerstown and Salisbury.


COPT announces lease at Patriot Ridge

Corporate Office Properties Trust of Columbia, a real estate investment trust focused on office buildings geared to defense and intelligence companies, said an unidentified tenant in the defense information technology industry leased 103,000 square feet of space, or more than 43 percent of a 237,000-square-foot building under construction in Springfield, Va. The building is being built at Patriot Ridge, the name COPT gave to some 15 acres of land that it acquired in Springfield in May 2010. Patriot Ridge is adjacent to the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, a Department of Defense combat support agency that is building a new headquarters at Fort Belvoir.

St. John Properties announced the signing of two leases, representing nearly 20,000 square feet of research & development and office space at Riverside Technology Park, a 488,000-square-foot business park at the intersection of Progress Drive and Monocacy Boulevard in Frederick. AT&T Government Solutions Division signed a lease for 12,840 square feet of space at 8445 Progress Drive. Also, Tox Path Specialists LLC leased 4,500 square feet of space at 8420 Gas House Pike. Both companies are expected to be operational at Riverside Technology Park in the first quarter of 2012. AT&T will move approximately 50 employees to the new location; Tox Path Specialists will bring approximately 20 employees from its current location in Hagerstown. Andy Cole of CB Richard Ellis represented AT&T in lease negotiations and David Kaye of Tyler-Donegan was Tox Path’s representative. Danny Severn of St. John Properties negotiated both leases on behalf of the landlord.

Merritt Properties reported the following leases were recently signed for space at its buildings:

Baltimore Land Design Group Inc., an engineering services firm, leased 2,629 square feet of office space at Schilling Green, 230 Schilling Circle, Suite 364, in Hunt Valley. Merritt’s in-house leasing team of Pat Franklin, Whit Levering, Lou Boeri and Ashley Combs handled negotiations for both parties.

* Jesco Systems Inc., an IT systems developer, leased 1,991 square feet of office space at Columbia Corporate Park, 8850 Stanford Boulevard, Suite 2500, in Columbia.

* Furniture Installation Team LLC, an office furniture installer, leased 3,150 square feet of warehouse space at the Curtis Business Center, 713 E. Ordinance Road, Suite 303, in Curtis Bay.

* A-tek Inc., a provider of scientific and technology solutions, leased 4,762 square feet of office space at Columbia Corporate Park, 6031 University Boulevard, Suite 200, in Columbia. A-tek was represented by George Santos and Luke Allen of Manekin LLC.

In these three transactions, Merritt Properties was represented by its in-house leasing team of Jamie Campbell, Liz Tarran-Jones, Vince Bagli and Steve Shaw.

One comment

  1. Whats going on in the commercial real estate sales market in the lutherville area?