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Real Estate Weekly – 5/18/12: Boscov’s returning to White Marsh Mall

DHCD accepting applications for Rental Housing Works initiative

The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development is accepting applications for the $17.5 million Rental Housing Works initiative announced in January. Rental Housing Works promotes job creation through the rehabilitation and new construction of much-needed affordable rental housing for Maryland’s working families, seniors and individuals with special needs. The Rental Housing Works initiative provides gap financing for projects funded by the department’s Multifamily Bond Program and Low income Housing Tax Credits.

“Our investment of $17.5 million from our capital budget in the Rental Housing Works initiative will allow us to leverage up to 20 times that amount in private sector funding. It also allows us to build approximately 2,000 new affordable rental units, support nearly 1,300 jobs, and generate $36 million in state and local taxes over the next decade and a half,” Gov. Martin O’Malley said in a prepared statement.

For program and application details, contact the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, Community Development Administration, 100 Community Place, Crownsville, MD 21032-2023, or visit the department’s website,

War of 1812 exhibit opens in June

On June 10, the Maryland Historical Society will open an extensive War of 1812 Bicentennial Exhibit, containing many valuable documents and artifacts dating to the war 200 years ago between the United States and Great Britain. With 5,000 square feet of displays in four galleries, the largest bicentennial exhibit in Maryland, “In Full Glory Reflected, Maryland During the War of 1812,” will be featured for the three years of the 1812 Bicentennial at the society’s museum at 201 W. Monument St. Among the objects on display is the original manuscript of the Star Spangled Banner. For information on this exhibit and others at the MdHS, go to or call 410-685-3750.

Crab Cake Café set to open in Annapolis

Crab Cake Café, a new fast-casual and drive-thru dining concept, will open a 1,329-square-foot restaurant in May at St. John Properties Inc.’s Annapolis Technology Park, a 29-acre mixed-use business community in Annapolis. Crab Cake Café is a division of Jerry’s Seafood. Annapolis Technology Park consists of six building totaling approximately 130,000 square feet of office, flex and retail space. Retail tenants open at the business community include: BB&T Bank, CVS Pharmacy, Dunkin Donuts, Subway, Jake’s Wayback Burgers, Squisito Pizza & Pasta, Viet-Thai Paradise Restaurant, Fantastic Sams, Katana Japanese Cuisine and My Gym.

Mercy’s Bunting Center to house birthing facility

Mercy Medical Center in downtown Baltimore will officially open its new Family Childbirth and Children’s Center on June 10 in The Mary Catherine Bunting Center, the $400+ million, 20-story inpatient facility that opened in December 2010. Totaling more than 70,000 square feet, the new center will include a 13?bed Labor and Delivery Unit, a 32–bed Mother?Baby Unit, a Newborn Nursery, a 26?bed Level IIIB Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and a five?bed Pediatric Unit. The new Labor and Delivery unit will include five private triage rooms, 13 labor/delivery rooms and three antepartum rooms. There are three patient recovery rooms and two C-section surgery rooms.

Other tenants will be the Center for Advanced Fetal Care, Mercy’s outpatient high-risk obstetrics program, and administrative offices for the departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Pediatrics.

Howard Co. to open Rockburn Skills Park

Rockburn Skills Park, which Howard County is calling the first-of-its-kind on the East Coast, will have its grand opening on June 2 at 10 a.m. Created by a public-private partnership of the county Department of Recreation and Parks, the Mid-Atlantic Off-Road Enthusiasts (MORE), and the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA), the one-of-a-kind trail system is targeted to mountain bikers and trail runners. With the county providing the land within the 450-acre Rockburn Branch Park in Elkridge, construction on the Skills Park began on April 23. IMBA flew in world-class trail builders and designers, and MORE raised money and provided volunteer support to help clear the land and build the park, which includes three courses for riders of varying skill levels, a rock-armored climbing trail, a pump track and a picnic area.

Civic Works’ mansion campaign underway

Civic Works, Baltimore’s urban service corps, said it has received pledges for $5.7 million of the $6.9 million it is seeking to renovate its headquarters in the historic Clifton Mansion in Clifton Park. The circa-1830s mansion is one of only a few remaining Italianate villas in the United States, and is on the National Register of Historic Places. The nonprofit, which works with Baltimore City youths in such program areas as community improvement, workforce development, education and the environment, occupies the Clifton Mansion under a $1-per-year lease with the Baltimore Department of Recreation and Parks.

Va. home loan firm opens in Lutherville

George Mason Mortgage LLC, of Fairfax, Va., a subsidiary of McLean, Va.-based Cardinal Bank, has opened its first branch in the Baltimore area. The office on York Road in Lutherville will be managed by Brad Gibbons, a lifelong Baltimore resident. An alumnus of Loyola High School and Towson University, Gibbons brings more than 29 years of mortgage lending experience and regional expertise to the new office. This is the third office in Maryland that George Mason Mortgage has opened in the past month. In April, the company opened a branch in Prince George’s County, and expanded and relocated its office in Frederick.

Boscov’s returning to White Marsh Mall

Boscov’s will open a department store at White Marsh Mall in November, inside the same 197,000-square-foot store that it closed in 2008, along with two others in the Baltimore area, after filing for bankruptcy protection. “I’m glad we are returning to White Marsh Mall,” said Albert Boscov, chairman and CEO of the Reading, Pa.-based chain. “It was a great store, and we look forward to creating a new, more exciting Boscov’s in the Baltimore area.” The company is also opening a 180,000-square-foot store in Woodbridge, N.J., expected to open in August 2013. Both locations are in malls owned by Chicago-based General Growth Properties Inc.

Garrett County boosts hotel tax

(AP) Garrett County officials say a boost in the local hotel tax will help pay for the county’s recent acquisition of a manmade whitewater course in Western Maryland. The Cumberland Times-News reported that the county commissioners voted Tuesday to raise the hotel tax from 5 percent to 6 percent, effective July 1. County Administrator Monty Pagenhardt said some of the new revenue will reimburse the county’s $600,000 expense for paying off loans on which the Adventure Sports Center International had defaulted. Pagenhardt said the higher hotel tax will also fund tourism promotion and economic development.

MacKenzie GIS unit honored by Baltimore SmartCEO magazine

MacKenzie GIS & Research, a business unit of The MacKenzie Cos. that provides map-enabled market research using geographic information systems (GIS) technology, has been awarded a VOLT:Leaders in Technology award by Baltimore SmartCEO magazine. Acknowledged by the regional publication as a Technology Implementer (Large Company category), the award recognizes a “company’s creative vision, leadership philosophies, innovative strategizing and undeniable work ethic.”


Samantha Humphreys

PLDA Interiors, a Baltimore-based, full-service interior design and space planning firm, has added Samantha Humphreys as a senior designer. Humphreys’ professional background is principally in health care and hospitality design. She holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a Bachelor of Interior Design degree from Virginia Tech.

MacKenzie Commercial Real Estate Services announced that Bethany S. Hobbs has joined its Maple Lawn office in Fulton as a real estate advisor. Hobbs will specialize in the sale and leasing of commercial office space in the Baltimore-Washington corridor. Prior to joining MacKenzie, Hobbs worked in the marketing and IT support areas for Studley Inc., a tenant representation boutique firm in Washington.

Broad Street Realty, a Bethesda-based commercial real estate services firm, announced that Senior Vice President Chris Coccaro has been named a 2011 CoStar Power Broker by CoStar Group, a Bethesda-based company that provides information services to the U.S. commercial real estate industry. The CoStar Power Broker award highlights the achievements of the U.S. firms and individual brokers who closed the highest transaction volumes in commercial property sales or leases for the 2011 year in their respective markets. Coccaro was also recently named a 2011 Top Maryland Leasing Agent by the Greater Washington Commercial Association of Realtors, a regional trade association dedicated to serving commercial real estate interests throughout the District of Columbia, Suburban Maryland and Northern Virginia.


IP DataVault LLC, a data storage technology company, has leased 1,600 square feet of office space at 6021 University Boulevard, Suite 410, in Ellicott City. Jamie Campbell, Liz Tarran-Jones, Vince Bagli and Steve Shaw of Merritt Properties represented the landlord in the lease deal. The same team handled negotiations for Merritt in a lease signed by the National Society for Histotechnology for 2,862 square feet of office space at Columbia Corporate Park, 8850 Stanford Boulevard, Suite 2900, in Columbia. Kim Penny of CBRE represented the nonprofit organization in the transaction.

Merritt Properties also reported a lease for 2,685 square feet of space signed by Harvest Group of Hunt Valley, LLC trading as Nalley Fresh, which plans to open a restaurant in the space at Schilling Green II, 225 Schilling Circle, in Hunt Valley. Matt Haas of Colliers represented the tenant. Merritt’s in-house leasing team of Pat Franklin, Whit Levering, Lou Boeri and Ashley Combs represented the landlord. The same leasing team also represented Merritt Properties in the lease by Neil Hoosier and Associates of 3,333 square feet of office space at Owings Mills Corporate Campus, 10055 Red Run Blvd., Suite 100, in Owings Mills. The firm offers coordination of benefits and third-party liability services for health insurance providers.


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