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Real Estate Weekly – 8/17/12

Renovations completed at Jessup senior housing complex

Renovations at Morningside Park, a 60-unit affordable senior housing community in Jessup owned by the Howard County Housing Commission, have been completed after more than a year of work. Among the improvements, all of the units were equipped with new energy-efficient HVAC units, as were the project’s common areas. Other green features include installation of energy-efficient ceiling light fixtures and replacement light bulbs. Renovations included new floors and carpets, hardware, paint, kitchen and bathroom cabinets, countertops and ENERGY STAR appliances in many of the units. Funding for the renovations came from federal and state sources.

Calvert School picks Mullan for campus construction

The Calvert School, a pre-K through eighth grade private school located near the Johns Hopkins University’s Homewood campus in Baltimore, has selected The Mullan Contracting Co. to oversee construction of 10,000 square feet of expansion classroom and administration space, as well as the addition of a lecture hall to its Middle School. Activities are scheduled to commence this month, with completion of all phases of the project in mid-2013. The new building, which will be located on the Lower School campus adjacent to the primary wing of the educational institution, will feature a mix of classrooms and laboratories, as well as office space and meeting and conference facilities. The lecture hall is located within the main Middle School building. Mullan built the Calvert School’s 56,000-square-foot Middle School building in 2002, so the company “has great familiarity” with the school, said Joseph Rode, Mullan’s president.

Pita Pit coming to West Baltimore

Pita Pit, an international fast-casual restaurant chain, plans to open its inaugural location in the Baltimore metropolitan marketplace in September within the 400 West Baltimore Street development on the city’s West Side. Developed by Balti West LLC and managed by David S. Brown Enterprises LTD, the project features 17,000 square feet of street-level retail space near Eutaw and Paca streets. Panera Bread Co. opened a location within the project this year. Pita Pit, operated in Baltimore by franchise holder Drin Kaziaj of Baltimore Pita LLC, offers Mediterranean-style pitas stuffed with an assortment of cheeses, meats and fresh vegetables, accented by signature sauces. There’s a selection of veggie pitas filled with hummus and falafel, breakfast-style pitas, and “light” pita options with reduced calories. Kaziaj anticipates opening one new Pita Pit each year in the Baltimore region and “quite possibly more than this number if the restaurants build a fast audience,” he said. He is already eyeing the Canton area for the next location in 2013. Pita Pit eateries are located in approximately 40 states throughout the U.S., with 300 sites worldwide.

Krazi Kebob opens location at Baltimore’s Inner Harbor

Krazi Kebob, a restaurant that combines Indian, Pakistani and Mexican cuisines, has relocated from Towson to new space in the food court at The Gallery at Harborplace. The approximately 800-square-foot restaurant offers carry-out service. Customers might choose a naan wrap, quesadilla or nachos, then select a marinated meat, chicken or paneer filling, and include a variety of toppings and sauces such as tikka masala sauce, corn-mango salsa, curried chickpeas or guacamole. In addition to wraps and burritos, the menu features Basmati rice bowls, grilled kebabs, healthy salads and Indian and Mexican sides like samosas, chips and guacamole and fresh naan, all made fresh in-house. Owner and founder Naumaan Hamid’s parents are the owners of Shaheen, an Indian-Pakistani restaurant with locations in Catonsville and Queens, N.Y. The Baltimore location is Hamid’s second Krazi Kebob; the first is in College Park. “The College Park Krazi Kebob has proven exceptionally popular with University of Maryland students and locals,” Hamid said. “We’re hoping to achieve the same success with the office workers and tourists who visit The Gallery mall.”

AACC opens cyber center in Hanover

Anne Arundel Community College announced the opening of its new Center for Cyber and Professional Training in Hanover, near the Arundel Mills mall. The approximately 30,000-square-foot center houses 13 specialized labs, a testing center and faculty support space for AACC’s CyberCenter, and for contract training provided by the college’s Center for Workforce Solutions based at the Glen Burnie Town Center. The labs will allow users to conduct penetration testing and defense in a virtual environment. Additionally, students will be able to design and set up networks with cyber protections. The new facility is located at 7556 Teague Road, just off Route 100 in Hanover.

New Hagerstown park gets preliminary OK

The Hagerstown City Council is giving preliminary approval to a new park along Antietam Creek where paddlers could launch kayaks and canoes. The Washington County city has been trying to increase recreational access to the creek for more than a decade. The waterway meanders along the city’s southeastern edge through mostly private property. The council gave initial approval last week to developing the park along with the Kiwanis Club of Hagerstown and local developer JBD LLC, the Herald-Mail newspaper reported. The developer has agreed to donate nearly 5 acres for the park, which will be located near the intersection of Eastern Boulevard and state Route 64.

DAP unveils new product line

DAP Products Inc., of Baltimore, a manufacturer of caulks and sealants for the construction and do-it-yourself marketplaces, has unveiled a new product line. The newly formulated DAP 3.0 sealants are both paintable and water resistant in 30 minutes. In addition, the sealants are low odor, VOC-compliant (volatile organic compounds) and backed by a lifetime guarantee. The new products are designed to address a wide range of sealing applications in kitchens and baths, around windows, doors, trim and siding, and on concrete and masonry surfaces.

Nonprofits to get Bank of America grants

Bank of America Charitable Foundation announced it is awarding $376,500 to 21 Baltimore-area nonprofit organizations to assist them in their work in local neighborhoods. Among the recipients are Belair-Edison Neighborhoods Inc., Jubilee Baltimore Inc., Govans Ecumenical Development Corp., Anne Arundel County Community Action Agency Inc., Neighborhood Housing Services of Baltimore and St. Ambrose Housing Aid Center. The funds are part of $22 million the foundation is awarding to nonprofits nationwide that build and rehab affordable housing, offer foreclosure prevention services and homeowner counseling, and provide other services intended to revitalize neighborhoods and help working families find and keep sustainable homes.

Hagerstown warehouse sells for $10.25 million

McShea & Co. Inc., a full-service commercial real estate company based in Gaithersburg, announced the sale of 105 Enterprise Lane, a 193,400-square-foot, bulk distribution warehouse in Hagerstown. The buyer, BNI Properties, of Washington, paid $10.25 million for the property, with acquisition financing provided by United Bank’s Hagerstown branch. McShea represented the seller, MCCB LLC. The property is located on 30 acres of land, immediately off Interstate 81 and U.S. Route 40, and four miles from the I-81/I-70 interchange. The property is 95 percent leased to four tenants. The McShea team that handled the sale consisted of Joe Friedman, vice president and director of investment sales, and Julian Etches, director of leasing and sales at McShea’s Hagerstown office.