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Real Estate Weekly – 2/24/12: Top Chef contestant opening restaurant in Largo

Galey Kotsher Group brokers sale of two major land parcels

The Galey Kotsher Group of Rockville-based Keller Williams Metro Team Realty announced the sale of two land parcels in Maryland. The final phase of the Hagers Crossing subdivision in Hagerstown was sold by a subsidiary of M&T Bank to David Lyles Developers of Hagerstown for $525,000. The 16.52-acre property was originally approved for 240 garden condo units or 147 multiplex units; however, final plans are to be determined. Larry Galey, a principal in the firm, said it was “not a bad price” for the raw land.

The second sale involved the Heron Point subdivision in Cambridge, which was sold jointly by a subsidiary of M&T Bank, Patapsco Bank and National Bank of Cambridge to Property and Industry Coordinators LLC for $199,000. The 27.17-acre parcel comprises 114 lots, of which 72 are finished townhome lots and 42 are finished single-family lots with garages. Galey said the unidentified buyer will be responsible for paying for the construction of a roundabout that is needed to provide unimpeded access to the subdivision. Had the roundabout, costing about $850,000, been part of the sale, the price would have been more than $1 million, Galey said.

Construction starts on multipurpose sports stadium at McDaniel College

Manekin Construction has started construction of an $8 million multipurpose sports stadium at McDaniel College in Westminster. The two-story brick and concrete structure, designed by Marshall Craft Associates, is being built on the site of the current grandstand, and has a targeted completion date for Sept. 15, the first home football game.

Retaining its hallmark bowl and tradition of drive-in tailgating, the stadium will have an increased seating capacity of 1,434, including accessible seats. Additional features include concessions, public restrooms, coaches’ rooms, observation boxes, a large press box, a training room, filming areas, home and visiting team meeting rooms, and a reception and gathering room.

The facility will be used by intercollegiate sports teams (football, field hockey, men’s and women’s lacrosse, and men’s and women’s track and field), as well as special events. Funded entirely through donations, the stadium will be named for alumnus and Trustee Kenneth R. Gill, a former Green Terror football player who presented his alma mater with gifts totaling $2.25 million.

Top Chef contestant opening restaurant in Largo

Timothy Dean has signed a restaurant lease at The Boulevard at the Capital Centre in Largo. Inland Western Retail Real Estate announced the lease with TD Burger LLC on Wednesday. The restaurant will occupy a 2,000-square-foot space at the 485,564-square-foot lifestyle center in Prince George’s County. Dean, the former contestant on Top Chef Season 7 and a native of Prince George’s County, will bring his culinary expertise and ingredients for specialty burgers to the shopping center. The casual dining Timothy Dean Burger will also feature gourmet pizza. “This is a wonderful addition to the mix at The Boulevard,” said Gwen McCall, president and CEO of the Prince George’s County Economic Development Corp. “I am delighted that plans for backfilling empty retail spaces and revitalizing The Boulevard at the Capital Centre are moving along.” The Boulevard at the Capital Center is anchored by national retailers DSW, hhgregg, Shoppers World and Sports Authority, and a 12-screen Magic Johnson theater complex.

FRIT’s 4th-quarter FFO shows dip

Federal Realty Investment Trust, of Rockville, a real estate investment trust focused on high-quality retail assets, reported fourth-quarter funds from operations available to common shareholders of $62.1 million, or 97 cents per diluted share, compared to $62.2 million, or $1.01 per share, in the prior-year period. Revenue for the quarter rose to $141.5 million, compared to $137.3 million in the 2010 period. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters on average forecast earnings of 98 cents per share on revenue of $130.1 million. The company said its results were affected by expenses associated with acquiring two shopping centers in Rockville and El Segundo, Calif.

Pebblebrook receives new loan

Pebblebrook Hotel Trust, of Bethesda, a real estate investment trust focused on luxury hotels in urban markets, said it obtained a new, $47 million, non-recourse, secured loan from PNC Bank. The five-year loan, with a fixed annual interest rate of 4.25 percent, is secured by a first mortgage on the company’s Argonaut Hotel in San Francisco. Pebblebrook will use loan proceeds to pay down the outstanding balance on its credit facility, to fund future acquisitions and for general business purposes. Pebblebrook owns 14 hotels with 3,812 guest rooms, and has a 49 percent joint venture interest in six hotels with 1,733 rooms.

COPT receives new loan

Corporate Office Properties Trust, of Columbia, a real estate investment trust focused on serving the needs of tenants in the U.S. government and defense information technology sectors, said it obtained a five-year, $250 million loan from a group of banks. The loan can be expanded to $400 million under certain conditions. The company is using proceeds to repay outstanding balances on its unsecured line of credit. J.P. Morgan Securities LLC and KeyBanc Capital Markets acted as joint lead arrangers and joint book runners. Other banks involved were JPMorgan Chase Bank, Bank of America, PNC Bank, Royal Bank of Canada and Wells Fargo Bank.

Developer donates to National Mall fund

(AP) The family foundation of a Washington developer is giving $1 million to help restore the National Mall’s grounds and facilities. The nonprofit Trust for the National Mall announced the gift Monday from the Akridge Family Foundation. John “Chip” Akridge is founder and chairman of the fundraising effort for the mall. Caroline Cunningham, president of the Trust for the National Mall, said this is the first million-dollar gift for the effort. Akridge began working to establish the fundraising organization to support the National Mall in 2001, and it was officially launched in 2007. The group has set a goal of raising $350 million privately for the mall.

Panera Bread opening on W. Baltimore Street

Panera Bread, a national chain of fast-casual restaurants, announced the opening of its third location in Baltimore at 400 W. Baltimore St., a retail redevelopment project across from the Hippodrome Theatre. More than 50 full-time and part-time employees are expected to work in the 4,671-square-foot restaurant. Balti West LLC is the developer of 400 W. Baltimore St. The project features 17,000 square feet of street-level retail space near Eutaw and Paca streets. Ken Bernstein of David S. Brown Enterprises LTD and Geoffrey Mackler of H&R Retail represented the landlord and Roger Carlson of Colliers International represented the tenant in the lease transaction.

Cumberland Holiday Inn sold

(AP) The Holiday Inn in downtown Cumberland has a new owner. CHPHC Hotel LLC of New York bought the 130-room property Feb. 8 from Maryland Motel Management Inc., the Cumberland Times-News reported. State tax records list the sale price at $3.6 million, $1.3 million less than the 2005 sale price of $4.9 million. The 40-year-old hotel employed 53 people as of late last year. The hotel is located near the downtown pedestrian mall and the Amtrak station. It was the Western Maryland city’s only major chain hotel for many years until a Fairfield Inn opened in 2009.

Choice Hotels outdoes Wall St. forecast

Choice Hotels International Inc. of Silver Spring, a hotel franchise chain, reported higher fourth-quarter profit and revenue, beating the forecasts of Wall Street analysts. The company, whose brands include Comfort Inn, Quality and Clarion hotels, reported net income of $24.8 million, or 42 cents per diluted share, versus $24.1 million, or 40 cents per diluted share, for the prior-year period. Excluding one-time charges typically not counted by analysts, earnings per share were 46 cents. Revenue totaled $175.9 million versus $155 million in the 2010 quarter. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had forecast earnings of 44 cents per share and revenue of $163.8 million.

Pebblebrook surges in fourth quarter

Pebblebrook Hotel Trust of Bethesda, a lodging real estate investment trust, recorded strong fourth-quarter results, reporting an 887.5 percent increase in funds from operations for the quarter ended Dec. 31. FFO, considered a key measure of a REIT’s financial performance, was $15.8 million, or 31 cents per share, versus $1.6 million, or 4 cents per share in the 2010 period. Revenue for the fourth quarter of 2011 totaled $84.4 million versus $33.9 million in the final quarter of 2010. Pebblebrook officials attributed the company’s performance to the continued resurgence in business transient, group and leisure travel.

LaSalle improves fourth-quarter earnings

LaSalle Hotel Properties, a Bethesda-based lodging real estate investment trust, reported strong results for the fourth quarter, posting a 19 percent increase in revenue and meeting Wall Street expectations for earnings per share. Funds from operations — a key measure of a REIT’s financial performance — were $28.2 million, up from $23.1 million in the 2010 period. Adjusted FFO per diluted share, excluding special charges typically not counted by analysts, were 36 cents, which met the forecasts of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters. Revenue for the 2011 quarter was $179 million, up from $161.7 million in the prior-year period. Analysts had predicted revenue of $179.3 million.

LEASES

Greenspring Development Co. selected Cassidy Turley to lease or sell 6570 Dobbin Road in Columbia, the integrated commercial real estate services provider announced. The 39,000-square-foot, fully conditioned, office/warehouse building is being marketed by Jarred Testa, Tilghman Herring and Michael Walsh of Cassidy Turley’s Core Industrial Leasing Team in Baltimore.

Cushman & Wakefield announced two new leases, totaling 8,260 square feet, have been signed at 1600 Bush St. in Baltimore, bringing the building to full occupancy. Telga Corp., a Texas-based energy consulting firm, leased 3,880 square feet, and MLN Advertising, a search engine marketing and Pay-Per-Click services firm, leased 4,380 square feet. Both firms plan to hire new employees to work at the locations. Rich Thomas, senior associate with Cushman & Wakefield, represented the landlord and the tenant on both transactions. Located in an enterprise zone within the Carroll Industrial Park, 1600 Bush St. is a two-story office building renovated in 2000 to incorporate state-of-the-art features like high-speed Internet and security systems. It is within two miles of I-95 and 295 and offers free surface parking to tenants. The property was the original headquarters location of Under Armour Inc., which moved to Tide Point due to rapid expansion.

Simple Cell Inc., a cellphone recycling company, has leased 2,250 square feet of space (412 square feet warehouse, 1,838 square feet office) at the Eldersburg Business Center, 1393 Progress Way, Suite 911, in Carroll County, it was announced by Merritt Properties LLC, the owner. Matt Melnick of Trout Daniel & Associates LLC represented the tenant. Merritt was represented by its in-house leasing team of Pat Franklin, Whit Levering , Lou Boeri and Ashley Combs.

PERSONNEL

Federal Realty Investment Trust of Rockville announced the promotions of Patrick Inaba to vice president, construction and tenant services, and Michael Kelleher to vice president, asset management. Inaba has worked at FRIT since 2006, most recently as senior director, tenant services, in which he manages the design, permitting construction and delivery of tenant spaces throughout the real estate investment trust’s portfolio. Kelleher has been an asset manager with FRIT since 2007, where he oversees the company’s assets in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Illinois and Florida. He also has responsibility for Federal Realty’s specialty leasing program.

Paul G. Cavanaugh

Paul G. Cavanaugh, PE, has been named general manager and director of engineering and construction at Development Design Consultants Inc., a multi-disciplinary development and construction consulting firm based in Westminster. Prior to joining DDC, Cavanaugh worked as a construction manager at PS Business Parks Inc. He has nearly 20 years of experience in the engineering, project management and construction fields.

Axiom Engineering Design of Columbia, a multi-disciplinary land development design and consulting firm, has hired Daniel Pino, PE, as director of engineering. Pino has more than 25 years of local civil engineering design and project management experience, including residential, commercial and mixed-use development projects.

Theodore E. Scott

Theodore E. Scott, executive vice president and founder of Hunt Valley-based Stormwater Maintenance LLC, facilitated two sessions at the Purdue University Local Technical Assistance Program. The first session provided an overview of stormwater inspection and maintenance programs and techniques. The second session examined how design can affect the maintenance of stormwater infrastructure. Stormwater Maintenance LLC is a niche construction firm that provides inspection, maintenance, repair and construction services for stormwater and drainage systems to property management firms, landowners, homeowners’ associations and businesses. Scott has more than 20 years experience in stormwater management design and maintenance.