Real Estate Weekly: 1/11/13

Fredericksburg, Va.-based bank expands into Southern Maryland

Virginia Partners Bank of Fredericksburg has opened a loan production office in La Plata, the county seat of Charles County, marking its expansion into Southern Maryland. The bank plans to open a full-service branch later in the year under the name “Maryland Partners Bank (a division of Virginia Partners Bank).” B. Scot Ebron is heading the bank’s Maryland operations with the title of executive vice president. Prior to joining Virginia Partners Bank, Ebron was the market executive for PNC Bank in Southern Maryland. Founded in 2008, Virginia Partners Bank operates three full-service branches in Fredericksburg and had $209 million in assets at the end of the third quarter of 2012.

Chevy Chase firm provides $15.5M loan for Raleigh, N.C., apartments

Federal Capital Partners, of Chevy Chase, a privately held real estate investment company, announced it closed a $5.15 million mezzanine loan for the development of the 214-unit Midtown Green apartments, part of the 2 million-square-foot, mixed-use North Hills development in Raleigh, N.C. The luxury seven-story apartment building is scheduled for completion in 2014. It is being developed by Kane Realty Corp., the predominant owner and master developer of North Hills.

Bennigan’s opens restaurant in town of Clarksburg

Bennigan’s Franchising Co. announced that the opening of a new Bennigan’s restaurant in the Buffington Building in Clarksburg. The Irish-themed restaurant features a welcoming bar and a lavish outside patio. Buffington Enterprises III LLC is Bennigan’s Clarksburg franchisee. Bette Buffington, along with husband Joe and son Joe II, initially built the Buffington Building to house their new Remax Realty Center. In response to the town’s request for a restaurant in the building, the Buffingtons introduced Bennigan’s as the first official casual dining restaurant in Clarksburg. The Bennigan’s company currently has 32 domestic and 46 international locations, and has agreements to develop over 30 new restaurants in 2013 in New Jersey, Maryland, Texas, Virginia, Arkansas, Minnesota, Florida, Tennessee and Michigan, and international openings slated for Mexico, Cyprus and Korea.

New Italian restaurant to open in White Marsh

Buca di Beppo, an Italian family-style restaurant, is scheduled to open in its second Maryland location at the White Marsh mall on Jan. 22. The 250-seat restaurant and bar will feature a signature quirky décor, complete with irreverent photographs, strings of multi-colored decorative lights, gingham tablecloths and over-the-top service. The menu includes generous portions of such Italian favorites as freshly baked lasagna, spaghetti with meatballs “as big as your head” spicy chicken rigatoni and veal saltimbocca. Buca di Beppo is a casual-dining Italian restaurant group with more than 90 locations in the U.S., Mexico and Europe. The company’s first location in Maryland is in Gaithersburg.

Warehouse in Jessup sold for $13.7 million

Cassidy Turley, a commercial real estate services provider, announced the sale of 8125 Stayton Drive in Jessup. The 205,000-square-foot industrial warehouse is fully leased to Capitol Express & Warehousing through 2018. Jonathan M. Carpenter and James S. Wellschlager of Cassidy Turley’s Capital Markets Group represented the seller, Stayton Associates. Boston-based TA Associates Realty purchased the property for $13.7 million. “A fully leased and highly functional Class B building such as 8125 Stayton, that can be acquired at a favorable basis, will command enthusiastic interest from prospective buyers as demonstrated by this recent sales effort,” Wellschlager said.

County issues RFPs for sale of assets

Baltimore County has issued requests for proposals for sales of three county-owned properties, County Executive Kevin Kamenetz’s office announced Monday. As described by officials last year, the properties are the North Point Government Center, at 7701 Wise Ave. in Dundalk; the Towson Fire Station and Public Works Facility, at 800 York Road in Towson; and the Randallstown Police Substation, at 9113 Liberty Road in Randallstown. Responses to the RFPs are due by April 5. In a statement, officials said they will take another 30 to 60 days to negotiate the sales, and will present the sales to the County Council for approval if sale prices are negotiated satisfactorily. If price agreements can’t be reached, the sale or sales will not proceed.

Upgrade due for Rocky Gap sewage plant

A Silver Spring company has been awarded $392,000 to design a new wastewater treatment plant for the Rocky Gap Lodge & Golf Resort near Cumberland. The state Board of Public Works awarded the contract last week to Watek Engineering Corp. The Cumberland Times-News reported that additional capacity is needed for a casino the resort plans to open this spring. State officials said the current plant is outdated and unreliable. It’s run by Maryland Environmental Services, an independent state agency. Officials said the lodge is already stressing an aging pipeline line that runs under Lake Habeeb. Those stresses are expected to increase as the casino brings more visitors to the resort inside Rocky Gap State Park.

Geomap published for Western Maryland

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has created a new geological map for Garrett, Allegany and western Washington counties — the first such map for this region published in more than 50 years. As residential, commercial and recreational development increases in that part of Western Maryland, and with the potential for hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” of the Marcellus Shale for natural gas deposits, the map will serve as a land management tool for decision-makers, who must balance the impact of human activity with the preservation of natural resources. For technical details, go to www.mgs.md.gov/geo/wmdgeomap.html.

Walker & Dunlop increases loan volume

Walker & Dunlop Inc., of Bethesda, a real estate lender focused on multifamily loans, announced 2012 loan origination volume of $7.1 billion, an increase of 76 percent over 2011. The company ended the year with a loan servicing portfolio of $35.2 billion, up 110 percent over 2011. “Walker & Dunlop has grown rapidly into one of the largest commercial real estate lenders in the United States, and our increased scale and market position are reflected in the significant growth in origination volumes,” said Willy Walker, chairman, president and chief executive officer. The company employs over 400 people located in 21 offices nationwide.

REIT buys second warehouse in Harford

Chambers Street Properties, a real estate investment trust based in Princeton, N.J., announced it has acquired the Mid-Atlantic Distribution Center – Bldg. A, a 672,000-square-foot warehouse/distribution facility in Perryman. The 4-year-old building is fully leased to an unidentified furniture retailer with more than 40 stores in the Northeast, primarily in the mid-Atlantic and New England states. A CSP representative said the privately held company does not disclose financial details of its transactions, or identify tenants. This is CSP’s second purchase in Harford County’s I-95 corridor. In November, it acquired Gateway at Riverside, an 801,000-square-foot, industrial Class A warehouse/distribution facility in nearby Belcamp.


EBL Engineers LLC, a Baltimore-based multi-discipline engineering firm, announced that one of its principals, Jeffery P. McBride, has been appointed as a Fellow of the American Council of Engineering Companies, Maryland. McBride, a fire protection engineer, has served as a director of the ACEC/MD, as well as secretary, treasurer, vice president and immediate past president of the Maryland chapter of the ACEC.

EBL Engineers LLC announced the licensure of several of its employees as Professional Engineers in the state of Maryland. Jamie Raithel, a mechanical engineer, has been with EBL for 12 years. Tony Jondo has been employed at the Baltimore-based engineering firm for four years, specializing in fire protection engineering. Also, Brian Vandervort, a senior fire protection engineer working at EBL’s office at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, has been with the company for six years.

Belinda L. Torres

Continental Realty Corp., a Baltimore-based commercial, retail and residential real estate company, named Belinda L. Torres to the position of Director of Marketing. She was formerly director of marketing for Hirschfeld Management Inc. In her new position, Torres will oversee day-to-day marketing, advertising and public relations functions for Continental Realty’s residential, commercial office and retail portfolios in the mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions of the United States. Torres has more than 18 years of diversified marketing and leasing experience in the residential sector, having previously worked as a regional marketing specialist for Sawyer Realty Holdings; leasing manager for The Commons at White Marsh; community manager for ART Management, and in various marketing and leasing positions for Signature Management.

MacKenzie Retail LLC announced the promotion of Marketing Specialist Laura J. Christou to Associate/Consultant. Christou will be working alongside Senior Vice President/Principal Thomas L. Fidler, Jr. to provide sale and leasing advisory services. The promotion is in direct response to the recent completion of two tenant representation deals by Christou. She has been a member of the MacKenzie Retail team since 2011, and has played an integral part in the marketing of projects throughout the Baltimore market, including Maple Lawn in Fulton and Boulevard at Box Hill in Abingdon.

One comment

  1. Very informative blog for real estate.

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