Real Estate Weekly – 6/7/13

Merritt building designated as LEED Platinum by USGBC

Merritt Properties LLC announced that the U.S. Green Building Council has certified its Meadowridge 95-Building III as meeting LEED Platinum standards. LEED Platinum is the highest level of LEED certification available. The designation places the Elkridge building among only a handful in Maryland designated as LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum. The Meadowridge 95-Building III certification is for Core and Shell, meaning that the developer had control of those elements of the construction. There are only two other LEED-CS Platinum buildings in the Baltimore area, both developed by Merritt Properties — Schilling Green and Schilling Green II office buildings in Hunt Valley. Once a brownfields site, Meadowridge 95 fronts on I-95 in Howard County and will be comprised of four Class A office buildings upon completion. Building III is a two-story, 68,470-square-foot building featuring a roster of sustainable design elements and state-of-the-art building systems.

NAIOP Maryland schedules Summer Social event

NAIOP Maryland has scheduled its annual Summer Social networking event, open to both members and non-members, for June 13 from 6 pm to 8:30 pm at the Maryland Science Center, 601 Light Street in Baltimore. The cost to members is $65 and $85 for non-members. Contact Kate Sanft at 443-986-9429 or kates@naiopmd.org to make reservations or for information. NAIOP Maryland’s more than 370 members work for real estate development companies, brokerage firms and affiliated companies such as financial institutions, architectural firms and engineers.

Annapolis-based lodging REIT acquires San Francisco hotel

Chesapeake Lodging Trust, an Annapolis-based lodging real estate investment trust, said it purchased the fee simple interest in the 313-room Hyatt Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco from an affiliate of Hyatt Hotels Corp. for $103.5 million. CLT has entered into an agreement with Evolution Hospitality to manage the hotel under a franchise agreement with a Hyatt affiliate. The acquisition gives CLT its third hotel in San Francisco. The five-story property is located on North Point Street in the heart of Fisherman’s Wharf, one of San Francisco’s main tourist destinations, and is proximate to Ghirardelli Square, the Cannery, Pier 39, North Beach, Chinatown, Alcatraz, the Maritime National Historic Park and the Cable Car turnaround. The hotel is also a short distance from the Financial District, Nob Hill, Union Square and the Moscone Convention Center. In addition to its sizeable guestrooms, including 8 suites, the hotel contains 19,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, a full-service restaurant and lounge, a coffee shop, a heated outdoor pool and a large state-of-the-art fitness center. The property also includes approximately 4,700 square feet of ground-level retail space. CLT said it would undertake an $8 million renovation of the hotel in the fourth quarter of 2014.

Large industrial building sold in Cecil County

Cushman & Wakefield of Maryland Inc. announced the sale for an undisclosed price of 4 Center Drive in North East, a 345,600-square-foot industrial building situated on 36.74 acres in the Cecil County Enterprise Zone, just off Interstate 95. The building, constructed in 1999, is 100 percent leased to the U.S. General Services Administration and Herr Foods Inc., of Nottingham, Pa. The announcement did not identify the seller, but a C&W flyer advertising the building names First Industrial Realty Trust Inc., a Chicago-based real estate investment trust that owns about 68 million square feet of industrial space in 25 states. The buyer of the property is New York-based SK Realty, which in 2011 purchased a portfolio of four buildings in the Baltimore and Harford county markets. That transaction was also brokered by Cushman & Wakefield.

Discounted mortgage funds available in targeted areas

Maryland is providing up to $20 million in mortgage funds at a discounted rate for families looking to purchase homes in targeted areas across the state. The discount — a half percentage off the Maryland Mortgage Program’s normally competitive rates — could make a significant difference for families looking to buy a home in those neighborhoods, particularly if those families receive the down payment assistance available through the state’s flagship homeownership program, said Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Deputy Director William Ariano during a meeting Wednesday with members of the Maryland Mortgage Bankers Association. Federally designated targeted areas in Maryland include the entire jurisdictions of Baltimore city and Allegany, Caroline, Dorchester, Garrett, Kent and Somerset counties, and other neighborhoods throughout the state.

Innovation Lab opens under Marriott HQ

Marriott Hotels, the flagship brand of Marriott International Inc., the largest publicly traded U.S. hotel chain, announced the opening of its 10,000-square-foot, underground Innovation Lab, located two stories beneath the company’s headquarters in Bethesda. The lab is intended to give visitors — who may be architects, designers, employees or customers — an opportunity to design innovations that may be incorporated into new and existing hotels. Visitors become part of the design and testing process for guestrooms, lobbies, meeting spaces, even food and beverage concepts, which the company said will be implemented more quickly in Marriott properties around the world.

Officials considering Smith Island buyouts

A draft plan for Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts in Somerset County includes $1 million for property buyouts on Smith Island, despite local officials’ opposition. The Daily Times of Salisbury reported that Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Secretary Raymond A. Skinner wrote to county commissioners last week explaining that funds were left in the plan because of differing views among islanders. Skinner said state officials are concerned about the needs of people who may want to move. The buyout option remains in the plan, but the amount was cut in half and the remaining $1 million was shifted to housing rehabilitation.

BioMed completes Wexford acquisition

BioMed Realty Trust Inc., a San Diego real estate investment trust, and Wexford Science & Technology LLC, a Baltimore-based company that develops research parks and health care facilities, announced the completion of BioMed’s acquisition of Wexford. The transaction, which was first disclosed in March, closed for approximately $672 million. The estimated price of $640 million when the acquisition was first announced was adjusted for additional construction and development costs incurred, and the value of common stock and operating partnership units issued by BioMed Realty. Among Wexford’s holdings are two office buildings and a parking garage in the University of Maryland, Baltimore’s BioPark in the 800 block of West Baltimore Street.

Xerox to add 400 positions at Frostburg

(AP) Xerox Corp. is adding 400 jobs at its Frostburg facility in the coming months. The hiring will occur over the next two to six months, a Xerox spokesman told the Cumberland Times-News. The jobs are a mix of permanent and temporary project-based jobs. Xerox, which is based in Norwalk, Conn., is adding primarily customer care agents who answer customer questions and give basic information. Xerox uses space in a shopping plaza that once housed a supermarket. Last August, Xerox announced it was hiring for more than 300 new positions in Frostburg. There are currently more than 300 employees at the facility.

Host Hotels acquires Hawaii hotel

Host Hotels & Resorts Inc., of Bethesda, announced it has acquired the fee-simple interest in the 426-room Hyatt Place Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, Hawaii, for $138.5 million. The sellers were an affiliate of Chartres Lodging Group LLC and Morgan Stanley Real Estate Fund VII Global. Kokua Hospitality will continue to manage the hotel subject to a franchise agreement with Hyatt. The hotel underwent a $45 million renovation and converted to a Hyatt Place in 2012. Host Hotels, a lodging real estate investment trust that owns luxury hotels, currently owns 104 properties in the United States and 15 properties internationally totaling approximately 63,000 rooms.

West O.C. rental complex set for sale

The Max Spann Real Estate & Auction Co., of Clifton, N.J., announced a one-day online auction June 19-20 of an income-producing, multifamily rental complex one mile from Ocean City. The property at 12704 Old Bridge Road in West Ocean City features 27 year-round cottages and eight additional apartments, plus a large restaurant facility, all renovated in 2012. Also for sale during the auction will be an Ocean City retail pad along the Route 50 corridor. The site is adjacent to Applebee’s and Chic-fill-A restaurants, and close to the Tanger Outlet Center. Previews are scheduled for June 7 and June 14. For more information, call 888-299-1438 or go to www.maxspann.com.

Northrop scholarship winners named

Northrop Grumman Corp., of Linthicum, one of the largest defense contractors in the U.S., announced the 24 winners of its 11th annual Engineering Scholars program. Each winner — one from each of Maryland’s counties and the city of Baltimore — will receive a $10,000 college scholarship, payable over four years in annual installments of $2,500. The Engineering Scholars program is open to high school seniors across Maryland interested in studying engineering, computer science, physics or math. The funds can be used for tuition, books, room and board, and lab fees. A committee of Northrop Grumman employees selected the Engineering Scholars winners. For the names of the individual winners and details about the program, go to http://www.northropgrumman.com/CorporateResponsibility/Community/Pages/EngScholars.aspx.

Beltsville hotel acquired by L.A. firm

The Sheraton Washington North Hotel, a 207-room hotel in Beltsville, has been sold for an undisclosed price by The Carlyle Group, a Washington, D.C.-based global asset management firm. The buyer was the Laurus Corp. of Los Angeles. The nine-story hotel at 4095 Powder Mill Road in Beltsville features 5,410 square feet of meeting space, a 60-seat restaurant, a Club Lounge and a newly renovated fitness center. The hotel was sold fee simple and unencumbered by management. Savills Hospitality Group, a unit of New York-based Savills LLC, a real estate investment banking firm, announced the sale. Savills acted as the exclusive representative of the seller.

Hearings set for MoCo zoning changes

The Montgomery County Council has scheduled a public hearing for June 11 — the first of several — on the rewrite of the county’s zoning ordinance and the related zoning map amendment, both of which were introduced last month. The proposed new zoning ordinance would replace the county’s existing one, and the map amendment would change the zoning designations of almost every non-residential property in the county. The proposed zoning ordinance would create mixed-use districts for most of the commercial areas of the county, amending allowable densities, parking and amenities. The effect on individual properties would vary based upon size and proximity to transit.

NV3 to move to renovated building

NV3 Technologies, a manufacturer of cell phone-charging kiosks, announced its pending move from the ETC business incubator center in Canton to new space at 101 N. Haven St. NV3 will lease 6,000 square feet of space in the recently renovated building, an adaptive reuse of a historic industrial structure that once housed the King Cork & Seal Co. NV3’s new space will have dedicated areas for new product development, international product support and executive offices. The Emerging Technology Center itself announced in April that it would move to the same building on North Haven Street in October, when its current Canton lease expires.

Choice Hotels completes move of HQ

In a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by state and local public officials, economic development leaders, community representatives and employees, Choice Hotels International Inc., one of the world’s largest hotel companies, acknowledged the completion of its move of its new global headquarters to downtown Rockville. The company’s headquarters has been located in Montgomery County since 1968. More than 430 employees will be located in six floors of the building at 1 Choice Hotels Circle, in 135,000 square feet of space. The building was developed and constructed by Rockville-based Foulger-Pratt Cos. and designed by WDG Architecture of Washington.

D.C. museum buildings put up for sale

(AP) The property that houses Washington’s Textile Museum is up for sale for $22 million as the museum prepares to move to George Washington University’s campus. The building at 2320 S Street was commissioned by textile collector George Hewitt Myers in the early 1900s. Myers later purchased an adjacent building at 2330 S Street. The two buildings are connected by a second-story bridge. Coldwell Banker is listing the property. The Textile Museum announced in 2011 that it will move to the new George Washington University Museum scheduled to open in fall 2014. The move is expected to give the Textile Museum more exhibition space and access to an art-storage facility in Virginia.


Calvin G. Butler Jr. senior vice president of regulatory and external affairs at Baltimore Gas & Electric Co., was honored as the Utility Executive of the Year by the Maryland Washington Minority Contractors Association. Butler was recognized for his strong, civic involvement and consistent, positive presence in the community. He received the award at the MWMCA’s 10th Annual Spring Breakfast Annual Meeting and Business Showcase Expo, attended by approximately 1,500 business and community leaders. The annual event recognizes excellence in developing the region’s best minority-owned businesses. “On behalf of Exelon and BGE, I am honored to receive this recognition from MWMCA, an outstanding organization that is clearly committed to advancing Maryland’s minority businesses,” said Butler. “Both Exelon and BGE are committed to the continued development of relationships with the Maryland’s minority business community and specifically within the Baltimore metropolitan area.”

Adam Nachlas

Adam Nachlas, a 23-year veeran of the commercial real estate industry, has joined Cushman & Wakefield as senior director in the firm’s Baltimore brokerage services practice group. He will be responsible for landlord and tenant representation and leading Cushman & Wakefield’s life sciences practice group in the Maryland region. Nachlas comes to C&W from Manekin Corp., a regional real estate services firm, which he joined in 1989, rising to the post of senior vice president and director of brokerage. Prior to Manekin, Nachlas spent several years as the managing principal for Scheer Partners, working on that firm’s life sciences practice in the Gaithersburg/I-270 corridor.

Matthew Kelly

Greenberg Gibbons, an Owings Mills-based developer of mixed-use, town center and retail properties, announced that Matthew Kelly has joined the firm as a development director. Kelly, a licensed professional engineer in Maryland and Delaware, worked for 15 years at a national engineering firm, Greenhorne & O’Mara, managing site development, infrastructure and transportation improvement projects. At Greenberg Gibbons, Kelly willhelp oversee the development of a growing portfolio of retail and mixed-use properties, including construction of the new Towne Centre at Laurel project.


Merritt Properties LLC reported a lease signed by Anney Inc., an export firm, for 3,600 square feet of warehouse space at 48 Alco Place in Lansdowne. The tenant representative’s name was not made available. Merritt was represented by its in-house leasing team of Jamie Campbell, Liz Tarran-Jones, Vince Bagli and Steve Shaw.

Cassidy Turley reported completion of three leases totaling over 33,000 square feet of industrial space at RREEF’s New Ridge/Benson portfolio in the Baltimore Washington corridor. The new leases are 20,302 square feet to Goodwill Industries of the Chesapeake Inc.; 10,104 square feet to T.F. Andrew Carpet One Inc., and 2,153 square feet to SETO Holdings Inc. The buildings in which the space was leased are located at 7476 New Ridge Road in Hanover and 3431 Benson Ave. in Baltimore. Goodwill Industries of the Chesapeake was represented by Cassidy Turley’s David Downey and Michael Walsh. Michael Walsh also represented T.F. Andrew Carpet One in the separate transaction. SETO Holdings Inc. was represented by Jonathan Casella of Cushman and Wakefield. Jarred Testa and Tilghman Herring of Cassidy Turley’s Core Industrial Leasing Team represented the landlord, RREEF, in the three transactions.

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