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Real Estate Weekly – 1/6/12: Hopkins to open $1.1B building in April

Groundbreaking for Silver Spring apartments

Home Properties Inc. of Rochester, N.Y., a multifamily residential real estate investment trust, announced the groundbreaking of Eleven55 Ripley, a new apartment development in downtown Silver Spring. The two-building complex — one 21 stories high, the other 5 stories tall — will contain 379 apartments, as well as urban rowhouses and lofts. Construction will continue throughout 2012 and much of 2013, with the first residents scheduled for occupancy in the third quarter of 2013. The 21-story apartment tower will be the tallest such building in Silver Spring, according to HPI. Eleven55 Ripley is designed by the Washington, D.C., firm of Shalom Barnes Associates P.C. The developer is striving for a LEED Silver rating for the community.

LaSalle completes acquisition of N.Y. hotel LaSalle Hotel Properties of Bethesda said it completed its previously announced acquisition of the 934-room Park Central Hotel in midtown Manhattan for $396.2 million. The purchase was funded with cash on hand, borrowings from the company’s senior unsecured credit facility and issuance of 296,300 Operating Partnership Units valued at $27 per share. LaSalle said it will spend between $30 million and $35 million to renovate guestrooms, guest bathrooms, corridors and the lobby of the hotel, which was built in 1928. Work is expected to start this year and conclude during 2013. Highgate Holdings, the former owner, will continue to manage the hotel.

Bond-rating agencies high on Harford

Harford County officials announced that two of the three major rating agencies, Moody’s Investors Service and Fitch, have reaffirmed their AAA bond ratings for the county. Moody’s and Fitch upgraded the county in 2010, and their confirmation of the AAA ratings is a result of a review of the county’s fiscal management practices and economic outlook. The Triple A ratings are the highest possible, enabling the county to borrow money at lower interest rates than jurisdictions with lesser ratings. The third agency, Standard & Poor’s, has maintained its AA+ rating, a notch below Triple A.

State saves Baltimore’s historic records The Maryland State Archives is enhancing Baltimore’s city archive and pressing for money to improve its own operations. Since the state’s takeover of the city archives in 2010, Baltimore’s historic records have been moved from a damp, moldy building with snakes to a sturdy, climate-controlled facility in East Baltimore, the Baltimore Sun reported. A team of archivists was brought in to organize the records and make more of them searchable online. The War of 1812 Papers have been digitized, and correspondence from Baltimore mayors is available. The state archivist also plans to seek $40 million to build a new state storage facility in Jessup

Nonprofits sell bricks for park center

Two Harford County nonprofit organizations, the Cedar Lane Sports Foundation and the Greater Bel Air Community Foundation, have joined forces to raise $200,000 for construction of an events center at Cedar Lane Regional Park in Bel Air. An announcement is scheduled for Jan. 12 at the 112-acre county park that is used for activities including youth soccer, lacrosse, football, rugby, field hockey and baseball. The events center would contain team rooms, offices, concessions, restrooms and storage space. The nonprofits will raise funds through the sale of engraved bricks that will be placed in a patio at the facility.

Hopkins to open $1.1B building in April

(AP) Johns Hopkins says its new $1.1 billion patient care building, scheduled to open in April, is one of the nation’s largest hospital construction projects. The hospital says its new building covers 5 acres, has 1.6 million square feet of floor space, two 12-story patient towers and 560 private patient rooms. The building also has 33 state-of-the-art operating rooms and new adult and pediatric emergency departments. Johns Hopkins officials said each patient room will have a private bath and sleeping accommodations for family members. Outside the rooms, sound-absorbing features and a quiet nurse call system are designed to promote a tranquil environment.

Baltimore City gives land to county

(AP) The Baltimore County Council has approved a plan to accept 11 acres in Catonsville from the city of Baltimore to help preserve recreational and open space. The council on Tuesday unanimously backed a plan to accept the $110,000 property on Maple Avenue near Frederick and Rolling roads, the Baltimore Sun reported. NeighborSpace, a group that works to preserve open space in urban areas within the county, will protect the land from development.

Md. gets funds for wetlands protection

(AP) Maryland has received nearly $2 million in federal grants to protect and restore wetlands on the Eastern Shore, the Baltimore Sun reported. Point Pleasant Farm in Talbot County, a former National Audubon Society sanctuary at the mouth of the Choptank River, received a $1 million grant. State officials said half was to be spent restoring wetlands flooding meadows and woods and planting water-tolerant trees. The other half was to be matched with state funds to buy an easement. But the farm’s owner, former Anne Arundel County Executive Robert A. Pascal, donated the development rights. A grant of nearly $1 million also was awarded to protect 450 acres along the Chicamacomico River in Dorchester County.


St. John Properties Inc. leased more than 16,000 square feet of additional space at Ashburn Technology Park in Ashburn, Va. Brimtek, a government contractor for the United States Department of Defense and other federal agencies, nearly doubled its existing lease to approximately 11,000 square feet. Also, the Dulles Association of Realtors signed a lease for 6,000 square feet. The tenants are located in two separate single-story office/R&D/flex buildings within the 336,000-square-foot, six-building business community located on 46 acres near Washington Dulles International Airport. Kevin Goeller and Travis Glennon of NAI KLNB represented Brimtek, and Matt Holbrook and Danny Severn of St. John Properties represented the landlord. In the Realtors’ lease, Tom Morrissey of Morrissey Commercial represented the tenant; Matt Holbrook and Danny Severn of St. John Properties represented the landlord.

Terreno Realty Corp., a publicly traded, San Francisco-based real estate investment trust, said an interior and exterior millwork supplier, which it did not identify, leased 75,000 square feet at 8441 Dorsey Run Road, a 135,000-square-foot industrial building that it owns in Jessup. CityBizList identified the tenant as Southern Pacific Supply Co., which is headquartered in Baltimore. The building is 100 percent leased, according to Terreno. J. Allan Riorda of NAI KLNB represented Terreno; Tom Burns and McLane Fisher of Cushman & Wakefield represented the tenant.

Cushman & Wakefield said it has been retained by Industrial Income Trust as the exclusive listing agent to lease White Marsh Commerce Center at 10001 Franklin Square Drive. Industrial Income Trust of Denver recently purchased the building from Columbia-based Corporate Office Properties Trust. C&W brokered the sale of the property, which consists of a 218,532-square-foot, Class A industrial building on 11.62 acres and a 13.38-acre development site that can accommodate an additional building of up to 220,000 square feet. The existing building is 83 percent leased, with 36,618 square feet available. C&W leasing agents Michael Elardo, Christopher Wright and Jonathan Casella will market the project on behalf of the landlord.

Synergy Real Estate Group, Corporate Advisory LLC, a San Diego-based group of independent exclusive commercial real estate tenant representation brokers, said it assisted NASA – Hubble / TRAX International in leasing 120,000 square feet of office space for 450 employees at 7700 Hubble Drive in Greenbelt. TRAX International of Las Vegas is a company that serves the federal government, as well as various industrial and commercial corporate clients, in a variety of capacities as both prime contractor and subcontractor.

Merritt Properties LLC reported the following recently signed leases: Advanced Flooring & Design LLC, a commercial flooring wholesale company, leased 5,400 square feet of warehouse/distribution space at 9435 Washington Boulevard, Suites B-C, in Laurel. Also, Employee One Benefit Solutions LLC, brokers of employee work benefits, leased 1,931 square feet of office space at Columbia Corporate Park, 6021 University Boulevard, Suite 250, in Ellicott City. John Boote of CBRE represented Advanced Flooring & Design, and Dan Callihan and Toby Mink, also of CBRE, represented Employee One Benefit Solutions in the leasing deals. Merritt Properties was self-represented by its in-house leasing team of Jamie Campbell, Liz Tarran-Jones, Vince Bagli and Steve Shaw in both transactions.


Dianna Wilhelm

Dianna Wilhelm, president of Wilhelm Business Enterprises, has been elected president for the 2012-2013 term of NAIOP Maryland, the local chapter of the national trade association representing commercial real estate developers, owners, investors and other industry professionals. Other NAIOP Maryland officers are: James Knott Jr. (James F. Knott Realty Group), president-elect; Jerry Wit (St. John Properties Inc.), vice president; Christopher Nevin (BB&T), secretary/treasurer; Robert A. Bavar (Bavar Properties Group), past president; and Cole Schnorf (Manekin LLC), 2nd immediate past president. The Board of Directors consists of Vince Bagli (Merritt Properties Inc.); Brendan Gill (MacKenzie Commercial Real Estate Services Inc.); John Hermann (Corporate Office Properties Trust); Alex Kopicki (Solstice Partners); James Lighthizer (Chesapeake Real Estate Group); and Thomas Pilon (St. John Properties Inc.).

Susan D. Devlin

Susan D. Devlin became executive director of Habitat for Humanity Maryland as of Jan. 1. Formerly the executive director at Habitat Choptank in Easton, Devlin has seven years of Habitat management experience. Included in her resume are significant growth of Habitat Choptank’s annual fund, an increase in the number of homes produced, and tripling the number of volunteers involved with the organization. Habitat Maryland is the state support organization that assists the work of the 15 Habitat affiliates throughout the state in the areas of advocacy, resource development, training and disaster services. Under Devlin’s leadership, Habitat Maryland will aid affiliates in areas such as energy-efficient construction, and commitment to weatherization and critical home repairs. Since the first Maryland Habitat for Humanity was launched in 1981, affiliates have built more than 1,000 decent homes in Maryland with the help of partner families and countless numbers of volunteers.

Erika Palmer

Erika Palmer, an asset manager with Manekin LLC, has begun a two-year term as first vice president on the board of directors of the Building Owners and Managers Association of Greater Baltimore Inc. A trade association representing the commercial real estate industry, BOMA Baltimore comprises building owners, property managers, asset managers, corporate facility managers, building engineers, students and representatives from companies that supply goods and/or services to commercial properties. A 14-year industry veteran, Palmer manages 36 South Charles St., a 25-story, Class A, high-rise office building in downtown Baltimore. She has received two BOMA Baltimore Building of the Year Competition Awards of Excellence for office building management. Prior to joining Manekin in 2002, she served as property manager and industry consultant/trainer at commercial real estate firms in California.

Melissa Gambuto

Continental Realty Corp. has selected Melissa Gambuto as regional manager in the Baltimore-based commercial, retail and residential development and management company’s Residential Division. She was formerly general manager for Bozzuto Management, where she managed a number of properties in Harbor East. Gambuto has more than 13 years of diversified asset and property management experience. In her new position, she will assume the property management oversight of Parkwood Court, a 189-unit apartment community in the city of Alexandria, Va., that was recently acquired by an affiliate of Continental Realty. Her responsibilities will include overseeing due diligence projects, handling day-to-day asset management functions, and updating management and investors regarding project performance. Gambuto will also be responsible for additional multi-family properties as they are acquired.

Thomas M. Fitzpatrick has been appointed president and chief operating officer of Greenberg Gibbons Commercial Corp., of Owings Mills. Fitzpatrick oversees day-to-day operations, leasing and development at Greenberg Gibbons, which develops, leases, manages, and invests in commercial real estate, with an emphasis on community and neighborhood shopping centers. He spent 25 years at The Rouse Company, where he worked as senior vice president of asset management and was on the management committee. Fitzpatrick previously was Rouse’s vice president/associate director of retail leasing. He is a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers and volunteers with Habitat for Humanity.