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Real Estate Weekly – 11/18/11: Luxury apartments hold grand opening

Md. wind farm supplies power to Del.

Pepco Holdings Inc. announced that its Delaware subsidiary, Delmarva Power, will receive 40 megawatts of wind energy and associated renewable energy credits from the recently completed Roth Rock wind facility in Western Maryland. The 50 MW land-based wind farm in Garrett County is owned by Gestamp Wind North America, which held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Nov. 8. Delmarva Power will purchase 80 percent of Roth Rock’s output, while the remaining 20 percent will be sold separately to the University System of Maryland.

MPA selects Pepco for energy services

Pepco Energy Services Inc. of Arlington, Va., a subsidiary of Washington, D.C.-based Pepco Holdings Inc., said it was awarded a $27.6 million comprehensive energy performance and maintenance contract by the Maryland Port Administration. The 13.5-year contract covers 14 buildings with more than 570,000 square feet, including the World Trade Center, the Maryland Cruise Passenger Building and MPA facilities in the Dundalk Marine Terminal, South Locust Point Marine Terminal and Cox Creek. Pepco Energy will install 22 energy conservation measures, including a technology that uses the harbor’s water to cool the World Trade Center, reducing electricity, water consumption and chemical treatment.

The project includes measurement and verification services, along with equipment maintenance over the entire contract term. Pepco Energy Services also will initiate an Energy Awareness program for MPA employees and clients.

Over the term of the contract, the MPA will save more than $22 million in energy costs. The project will also result in a reduction of more than 4,100 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions. The project will be partially financed through the Maryland Energy Administration’s Project Sunburst Grant, as well as the local utility’s Smart Energy Savers Program utility rebates. Construction is underway and is scheduled to be completed in November 2012.

Parkway buys St. Mary’s Co. property

Parkway Hospitality Management LLC of Baltimore, a hospitality management and consulting firm, announced it has purchased Scheible’s motel, restaurant and marina at Ridge in St. Mary’s County. Parkway plans to transform the 150-seat restaurant and eight-room motel, located on Smith Creek, to a larger resort with additional guest rooms, guest cottages and a seafood restaurant with outdoor seating and a tiki bar. The property will be open year-round, instead of seasonally as is the case, and will remain open during the winter of 2011-2012. A marina with boat slips will be used for charter fishing and other water-related activities. The Parkway development team will be working closely with county zoning and planning departments to strategically look at the expansion of the property. Parkway did not reveal how much it paid for the property, or what it intends to spend for improvements.

Chef to open 2nd eatery in Frederick

(AP) Celebrity chef Bryan Voltaggio says he’s opening a second restaurant in downtown Frederick. Voltaggio and business partner Hilda Staples told The Frederick News-Post Tuesday that they aim to open Lunchbox, a casual eatery, by Dec. 3 on the pedestrian walkway along Carroll Creek. The menu will feature sandwiches, soups, salads and desserts. The partners said their flagship restaurant, Volt, will stop serving weekday lunch in January. It will serve dinner Tuesday through Friday, and both lunch and dinner on Saturdays and Sundays. Staples said they are considering opening restaurants at two other Frederick locations and another in Chevy Chase.

State issues cease and desist order to unlicensed driveway contractor

The Consumer Protection Division of Maryland has issued a cease and desist order against Tommy Edward Clack, 40, an unlicensed Annapolis-based driveway paving contractor who allegedly took tens of thousands of dollars from Maryland consumers by deceiving them about how much he was going to charge for work performed, Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler said Wednesday.

The division alleges that Clack refused to provide estimates or gave lowball estimates, then charged the mostly elderly consumers thousands to tens of thousands of dollars to pave their driveways. In one instance, Clack provided a verbal estimate of $4,000 to a consumer, but once the driveway was paved, told the customer the total price was $32,500.

The division also alleges that Clack sold and performed driveway paving services without the required home improvement contractor and salesperson’s licenses, and failed to notify consumers of their cancellation rights or to honor consumer’s requests to cancel. Six consumers are owed $66,600, the division alleges, and Clack has been ordered to refund that amount.

Additionally, the Consumer Protection Division ordered Clack to immediately cease and desist from offering and selling home improvement services unless he obtained the required licenses. The division’s order also requires Clack to post a bond or other cash security with the division in the amount of $50,000 to protect consumers.

Luxury apartments hold grand opening

The grand opening of The Arbors at Baltimore Crossroads, a new apartment development along Route 43 between White Marsh and the Middle River waterfront, was a cause for celebration Wednesday for Baltimore County officials and development representatives. The 365-unit luxury apartment building in the 1,000-acre Baltimore Crossroads @ 95 mixed-use development features a full array of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) elements. Features and amenities include a 360-panel solar roof, garage with electric car chargers, multi-media center with 110-inch screen televisions, billiards room, business conference area, and multiple child playrooms. An outdoor pool is adjacent to a Zen garden, tot lot and car wash area.

Pictured at grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony of The Arbors at Baltimore Crossroads, a 365-unit luxury apartment development, are, from left, Del. Pat McDonogh; Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz; Mike Caruthers of Somerset Construction Co., the project’s developer; former U.S. Congressman and House Majority Leader Dick Gephardt; Baltimore County Council Chairman John Olszewski; Sixth District Councilwoman Cathy Bevins; Carol Stevens of Bozzuto Management Co., and Neil Greenberg of Somerset Construction Co.

Constellation, Marriott OK energy management accord

Marriott International Inc. of Bethesda said it has teamed with Baltimore’s Constellation Energy Group to automate energy management at more than 250 Marriott-managed hotel properties across the United States.

The companies signed an agreement to develop more than 23 megawatts of load response capability at the properties. Load response is the term for the reduction of electrical consumption when wholesale electricity prices rise too high, system resource capacity is overtaxed or events stress energy supply.

As part of the agreement, Marriott will make use of Constellation Energy’s VirtuWatt energy management system, together with existing building automation, to monitor and, if necessary, curtail electricity usage. Marriott properties may also choose to receive financing through Constellation Energy to defray the upfront cost of load response equipment upgrades, as well as take advantage of available utility incentives.

The energy reduction program is an expansion of a pilot effort initiated by the two companies last year at 17 Marriott properties, which identified technical requirements leading to a larger program.

Home Builders Association to break ground on new headquarters building at Maple Lawn The Home Builders Association of Maryland will break ground Monday on the site of their new headquarters building to be built in 2012 in the commercial district of Maple Lawn in Fulton. In addition to the association, the 10,000-square-foot building, to be called the Maryland Center for Housing at Maple Lawn, will house the organization’s nonprofit arm, the Building Industries Foundation. The foundation will own the building debt-free and lease it back to the association, thereby providing a funding source for the foundation’s charitable activities. The land for the building was donated by Stewart Greenebaum, the developer of Maple Lawn. The materials, labor and professional services needed to construct the building are being donated primarily by members of the association.

The Frederick Visitor Center, which relocated to a 6,400-square-foot rehabilitated warehouse in downtown Frederick last April, has won three different awards within a one-week period.

First, the center was awarded the “Visit Maryland” award by the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development’s Office of Tourism. The annual award is presented to a project that has outstanding investments and performance in improving and promoting Maryland’s image as a travel destination. Additionally, the award recognized the Frederick Visitor Center’s use of new and innovative interactive media.

Another award came from the private-sector Maryland Tourism Council, which presented center officials with the Judges’ Award at the annual Maryland Tourism and Travel Summit Awards banquet.

Additionally, the visitor center was selected to receive 2011 Preservation Maryland Phoenix Award for a restoration project. The award was presented at Preservation Maryland’s annual meeting and awards program at the Maryland Club in Baltimore.

The center houses a 2,200-square-foot, state-of-the-art exhibit space and multi-screen theater that shows an award-winning visitor orientation film, “A Turn of the Wheel.” Final project costs were $2.9 million with state, local, and federal grants funding $589,062 of the renovation.

LEASES

Sperry Van Ness – Miller Commercial Real Estate in Salisbury announced that The Evolution Craft Brewery and Public House has leased 201 E. Vine St. in Salisbury. The 22,000–square-foot facility, which formerly housed an ice plant, will be turned into a craft brewery, office headquarters and restaurant and bar. Founded in 2009, Evolution Craft Brewing Co. is a small batch craft beer brewery whose products are sold in Maryland, Delaware, Washington and Northern Virginia. Evolution produces a wide variety of specialty beers as well as an established series of mainline beers including: Primal Pale Ale, Exile ESB, Lucky 7 Porter, Lot #3 IPA and Rise Up Stout. The Evolution Craft Brewery and Public House in Salisbury is projected to open in Spring 2012.