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Real Estate Weekly – 11/30/12

NAIOP Maryland schedules holiday luncheon

NAIOP Maryland, a trade organization representing the commercial real estate industry in Maryland, will hold its annual holiday luncheon on Dec. 13 at the BWI Marriott Hotel, 1743 W. Nursery Road, in Linthicum, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event will feature a re-enactment of the iconic “Hollywood Squares” television show. In this NAIOP Maryland version, nine different commercial real estate professionals will participate in the tic-tac-toe themed program. Jim Caronna, principal of NAI KLNB, will play the role of host and moderator. Advance reservations are required to attend; call 443-986-9429 or visit NAIOP Maryland is requesting donations to benefit Paul’s Place, an organization that provides clothing, food and services to residents in the Pigtown area of Baltimore. The wish list of items includes men’s, women’s and children’s winter clothing, as well as coats, books and blankets.

Forrester Construction does Supreme Court work

Rockville-based Forrester Construction Co., which has been selected to do major marble and bronze restoration work on the west façade of the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, is using employing replica scrim and new marble laser cleaning techniques. The company said it believes this is the first time both techniques have been used in Washington. With project completion slated for November 2013, Forrester is working closely with the court docket to ensure minimal disruption of proceedings during the process. The work will preserve historic elements of the façade and extend the life of the landmark building.

Bozzuto elected to board of Baltimore Community Foundation

Thomas S. Bozzuto

The Baltimore Community Foundation has elected Thomas S. Bozzuto, chairman and CEO of The Bozzuto Group of Greenbelt, to its board of trustees. Bozzuto has also joined BCF’s Neighborhoods Committee. Bozzuto is a co-founder of The Bozzuto Group, a group of real estate service companies that since 1988 has built and managed nearly 50,000 residential units for people of all income levels. Before starting The Bozzuto Group, Bozzuto spent 13 years as a mid-Atlantic regional partner at Oxford Development Corp. He also worked for the James W. Rouse Mortgage Co. and, prior to that, at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. “Tom Bozzuto’s wealth of knowledge in real estate development and his deep caring for this community will be a tremendous asset to our board — in particular to our work to help Baltimore neighborhoods become and remain safe, vibrant, clean and green,” said BCF Chair Raymond L. Bank. “I’m delighted to welcome him as a trustee of BCF.”

Host, Hyatt complete joint venture accord

Host Hotels & Resorts Inc., of Bethesda, a lodging real estate investment trust that owns upscale and luxury full-service hotel properties, said it completed a joint venture agreement with an affiliate of Hyatt Hotels Corp. to develop, sell and operate a 131-unit vacation ownership project adjacent to the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa. Construction has begun and the project is expected to open in late 2014. Host also announced that it has closed on the sale of its 94.8 percent interest in the Toronto Airport Marriott Hotel, receiving a total of approximately $32.4 million.

DiamondRock amends senior credit facility

DiamondRock Hospitality Co., of Bethesda, a real estate investment trust that owns upscale and luxury hotels, said it successfully amended and restated its $200 million senior unsecured credit facility. The amended facility pricing grid has been significantly reduced and the credit line matures in January 2018, inclusive of a one-year extension option, subject to customary conditions. The new pricing grid represents a 50 to 75 basis point reduction from the previous pricing grid. The amended facility also includes an accordion feature to expand up to $400 million, subject to lender consent. The company currently has $105 million in outstanding borrowings under the facility.

Continental Realty highly rated for customer service performance

Sixteen local apartment communities owned and managed by Baltimore-based Continental Realty Corp., have been recognized for outstanding customer service performance and methods. Awards were selected based on satisfaction survey results from hundreds of thousands of apartment residents nationwide that were tabulated by Satisfacts Research LLC, a third-party rating company that administers and manages the review process. Six of the properties are in Baltimore: Brook View, Cross Country Manor, Hunting Hills, Mallow Hill, Kenilworth at Hazelwood and Windridge. Eight are in Baltimore County: Kenilworth at Charles, McDonogh Township, Padonia Village, Stevenson Lane, Mt. Ridge, Doncaster Village, Rock Glen and Kenilworth at Perring Park. Two others in Annapolis, Westwinds and The Reserve at Quiet, were also selected.

Arbors apartment community recognized for design features

The Arbors at Baltimore Crossroads, a 365-unit luxury apartment development near White Marsh, was cited as the “Best Design and Architecture for a Multi-Family Community” recently at the 2012 Great American Living (GALA) Grand Awards, sponsored by the Northern Virginia Building Association, the Washington Metropolitan Sales and Marketing Council and the Maryland National Capitol Building Industry Association. Developed by Bethesda-based Somerset Construction Co., the approximately year-old development contains an array of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) features, including energy-efficient heating, ventilating and air-conditioning and hot water systems; low-flow plumbing fixtures; Energy Star appliances that significantly reduce monthly water, gas and electric usage; and air filtration systems.

Providence Center starts rehab of training center in Arnold

Providence Center, a Glen Burnie-based nonprofit organization that serves adults with developmental disabilities, received a $500,000 challenge grant from the Kresge Foundation to help pay for extensive renovation of the Jean Bradbury Building in Arnold, the oldest of the nonprofit’s five program sites. Providence officials held a ceremony at the building on Wednesday to mark the start of the modernization, which is expected to take about a year to complete. The ceremony also marked the end of Providence’s first-ever capital campaign, in which more than 400 individuals, foundations and businesses donated more than $2.1 million for the building’s renovation. BuilderGuru Contracting of Millersville and Gardiner and Gardiner Contracting of Crofton are overseeing the rehab work. The nonprofit organization operates five facilities which provide medical supervision and care, psychological assistance, life-skills training, vocational training and job placement as well as retirement services to clients throughout Anne Arundel County.

A.G. acts against unlicensed contractors

The Consumer Protection Division of the Office of the Maryland Attorney General said it issued a cease and desist order against two unlicensed home improvement contractors in Calvert County for failing to perform services for which consumers had paid hundreds of thousands of dollars. The division alleges that Christopher Manion, of Huntingtown, and Albert Styles, of North Beach, sold and provided home improvement services without the required state licenses. In addition to the cease and desist order, Manion and Styles were ordered to reimburse more than $420,300 to nine known victims, and possibly others, who paid for services that were not rendered.

Maryland sustainable communities designated

The Maryland departments of Planning, and Housing and Community Development, have designated 11 sustainable communities under the state’s 2-year-old Sustainable Communities Act. Sustainable communities are municipalities or counties that have a specific local area needing revitalization, and which have created a comprehensive strategy to encourage and guide local investment in accordance with principles of smart growth. Newly designated are the city of Baltimore, and Brunswick, College Park, Denton, Elkton, Ellicott City, Frostburg, Hughesville, Mount Airy, Ridgley and Sykesville. Designated communities are eligible to receive benefits, such as state tax credits, to promote job creation and historic preservation.

Natural foods company to expand on Shore

Protenergy Natural Foods Corp., an Ontario, Canada-based manufacturer of natural foods and beverage products, has purchased the 67-acre site and 200,000 square-foot building that it currently leases in Cambridge. Gov. Martin O’Malley announced that Protenergy plans to hire up to 100 new full-time workers by April 2013, and an additional 27 employees over the next five years to augment its current 53-person work force. The Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development provided a state-backed loan guarantee on a $3.6 million bank loan, and has approved a $250,000 conditional loan though its Economic Development Assistance Fund program. Protenergy’s investment in the project will be approximately $20.3 million.

Office building in Windsor Mill area sold

Cassidy Turley, a Baltimore-based commercial real estate services provider, brokered the sale of an 80,398-square-foot, single-story office building at 7210 Ambassador Road, in Baltimore County. The sale price was $14,450,000. The Windsor Mill-area building is 98 percent leased by the U.S. General Services Administration, and is occupied by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid. The purchaser was the Massachusetts-based Government Properties Income Trust. Cassidy Turley’s Jonathan Carpenter and James Wellschlager represented the seller, a partnership between Woodlawn-based CSG Partners and Blue Vista Capital of Chicago. “The property garnered strong interest from specialty investment vehicles focused on the acquisition of GSA-leased commercial assets,” Carpenter said.

Air Force picks EA for site cleanup work

EA Engineering, Science, and Technology Inc., of Hunt Valley, an interdisciplinary environmental services firm, has been awarded a performance-based remediation task order at Hill Air Force Base in Utah. Under the task order, EA and its partner firms will provide remediation services at 40 sites located at Hill AFB and Little Mountain Test Annex, Utah, in order to accelerate site closures and substantially reduce long-term Air Force liabilities. The initial award amount is for approximately $16.8 million, with possible options over an 8-year period of performance that could bring the total value to about $71 million.