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Real Estate Weekly: 5/31/13

VA facility on Loch Raven Blvd. to celebrate opening of addition

The VA Maryland Health Care System will celebrate the opening of its new 2,300-square-foot addition to the Loch Raven VA Community Living & Rehabilitation Center with a ribbon cutting and tours on Monday. U.S. Sens. Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin will take part in the ceremony, together with VA officials, according to an announcement from the VA. Veteran patients who reside at the Loch Raven VA Community Living & Rehabilitation Center will also be present. The $7.5 million addition to the facility at 3900 Loch Raven Blvd. in Northeast Baltimore allowed the expansion of the VA rehab center’s area used for physical therapy, occupational therapy, recreational therapy and kinesiotherapy (application of exercise techniques to improve mobility and strength). The addition also houses a new chapel, office space and a multi-purpose room.

Demolition and construction continues on Barclay project

The Strategic Demolition and Smart Growth Impact Fund is giving $220,000 to the Housing Authority of Baltimore City to assist with demolition through deconstruction and site preparation costs for Phase II of the Barclay Redevelopment Project. Part of Phase II is focused on increasing home ownership in the Barclay neighborhood, and will result in the construction of 30 new market rate homes and a 30,000-square-foot community park. A total of 23 existing vacant buildings will be cleared, 18 vacant lots will be excavated and sites will be prepared for development. Telesis Baltimore Corp. is the master developer for the project. Project partners are the Baltimore Department of Housing and Community Development, the Housing Authority of Baltimore City, People’s Homesteading Group and the Jericho Re-entry Program. Project construction began in 2010, and 72 units of affordable rentals and 20 homeownership units have been completed to date. Phase II of the redevelopment began in December 2012 with the groundbreaking of an additional 69 rental units. Construction on 15 homeownership units is projected to start in summer of 2013.

Mullan completes construction of Calvert School assembly hall

The Mullan Contracting Co. of Lutherville has completed the construction of a 252-seat assembly hall, contained within the Middle School building of Calvert School, a kindergarten through eighth grade independent school. Located near the Johns Hopkins University’s Northwood campus in the Tuscany-Canterbury neighborhood of Baltimore, the coed school prepares students for secondary school and a lifetime of learning by mastering the academic basics. Work is also progressing on the completion of 10,000 square feet of expansion classroom and administration space in the Lower School.

Stormwater Maintenance & Consulting completes 2 projects in Prince George’s Co.

Stormwater Maintenance & Consulting, a Hunt Valley-based organization specializing in the design, inspection, maintenance and construction of stormwater infrastructure, completed two projects for the Prince George’s County Department of Environmental Resources. One project, stabilization of a stream bank in the Temple Hills area, required a new wall and reinforced vegetated soil to prevent erosion of an existing hillside and stream banks near a residential community. The second project required the installation and construction of storm drainage infrastructure improvements in the Usher Place residential community in Upper Marlborough. New drainage piping will capture surface flows and connect to the county’s existing storm drain system.

Towson Univ. building underway at HCC

Towson University and Harford Community College held a ceremonial groundbreaking Thursday marking the start of construction of a $28 million academic center for university degree programs on the HCC campus in Bel Air. The facility will offer undergraduate degree programs, and will make it easier for county residents to access the university’s offerings. The 2+2 program allows students to study two years at the community college level, then finish their coursework toward a bachelor’s degree at Towson University in Northeastern Maryland. In addition to classrooms, the 60,000-square-foot building will house wet labs, an auditorium and a bookstore. Anticipated completion is July 2014.

Oyster restoration project gets BPW OK

The Board of Public Works approved a wetlands license to support a landmark oyster restoration project in the Chesapeake Bay. The $31.4 million project will ultimately restore 371 acres of oyster bars along the bottom of Harris Creek in Talbot County. The Department of Natural Resources created the Harris Creek Sanctuary in 2009, under the governor’s Oyster Restoration and Aquaculture Development Plan. The state is providing $21 million in funding for the Harris Creek project, with the Army Corps of Engineers and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration contributing $7.4 million and $4 million, respectively.

Arbors apartments achieves LEED Gold

The Arbors at Baltimore Crossroads, a 365-unit luxury market-rate rental home community near White Marsh, has earned a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold designation for new construction from the United States Green Building Council – Maryland Chapter. The Arbors at Baltimore Crossroads is the first apartment community in the Baltimore region to earn this LEED distinction, and the third in the state of Maryland to achieve the rating. The apartment development, contained within the 1,000-acre Baltimore Crossroads mixed-use development in Baltimore County, was built by Bethesda-based Somerset Construction Co.

PERSONNEL

The Montgomery County Planning Board has named Gwen Wright as the county’s new planning director, effective July 1. Wright is an experienced professional who has held top planning jobs in Alexandria, Va., and the Montgomery County Planning Department. As planning director, Wright will head a 150-employee department responsible for making recommendations to the planning board on master plans, development applications, forest conservation, historic preservation, and a host of other land-use issues. Wright succeeds former Planning Director Rollin Stanley, who left the agency in May 2012. Wright was with the county planning department from 1987 to 2008, most recently as acting director of the department. Prior to that she was chief of countywide planning. Currently, she is chief of the development division at the Alexandria Department of Planning and Zoning. Wright has a degree in architecture and architectural history from Yale University.

LEASES 

Merritt Properties reported two recently signed leases. Edwards & Hill Communications LLC, d/b/a Edwards & Hill Office Furniture, an office furniture wholesaler, leased 7,200 square feet of space for office furniture sales and distribution at 10810 Guilford Road in Annapolis Junction. Edwards & Hill was represented in lease negotiations by Anne Hooper of Hooper & Associates. Also, Chung-Juk Associates LLC, a kendo studio, leased 3,000 square feet of space at Hidden Rock I, 9305 Gerwig Lane, in Columbia. The tenant was represented by Kate Jordan of Lee & Associates in the lease negotiations. Merritt Properties, the landlord, was represented in both transactions by its in-house leasing team of Jamie Campbell, Liz Tarran-Jones, Vince Bagli and Steve Shaw.

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