Real Estate Weekly: 6/14/13

Howard County Fire Department to dedicate new fire station in Savage

The Howard County Fire Department has scheduled a dedication ceremony for Friday for a new fire station in Savage. The station is located at the northeast corner of the Route 1/Corridor Road intersection. It will house 21 career personnel across three shifts and 80 active volunteer members who provide nightly and weekend coverage. The environmentally friendly, two-story structure will include six back-in double length apparatus bays, individual personnel sleeping quarters, a physical fitness training room, kitchen and dining room, general use rooms, administrative offices, a large training room and an all-purpose community hall.

ToolBank celebrates inaugural year

Baltimore Gas & Electric Co. and the Baltimore Community ToolBank co-hosted a celebration Monday of the ToolBank’s first year of collaborating with volunteers from local nonprofit organizations to provide tools needed for community projects. Since the ToolBank opened in June 2012, it has housed more than 175 tool types for nonprofit use, including shovels, rakes, drills and much more, and lends these tools to charitable organizations which use them to leverage their own resources to do more in communities they serve. Since opening in June 2012, the ToolBank has supported more than 10,000 volunteers on 500 projects, lending $212,101 worth of tools and equipment to organizations across Maryland.

St. John Properties unveils plans for new office/retail center

St. John Properties Inc. unveiled plans for Reisterstown Crossing, a 10-acre mixed-use business community to be built near the intersection of Interstate 795 and Westminster Pike in the Reisterstown area of northwest Baltimore County. Plans call for nearly 100,000 square feet of office and retail space. Groundbreaking for the first building, a single-story, 14,280-square-foot office and retail project, is expected to occur this fall. A second office building, approximately 71,000 square feet, also is planned, as is a retail component with approximately 12,675 square feet of space. St. John Properties has also developed and currently owns Reisterstown Business Center, a 133,000-square-foot office and retail center located approximately three miles away on Reisterstown Road.

Cardin, Collins introduce bill to expand historic tax credit program

U.S. Sens. Ben Cardin, D-Md., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, have introduced bipartisan legislation to expand the historic tax credit program to encourage the restoration of historic buildings into useful economic properties. The bill, S. 1141, the Creating American Prosperity Through Preservation (CAPP) Act, would add to the existing historic tax credit program to include energy-efficient improvements and additional restoration projects. Congress created historic preservation tax benefits in 1976 to encourage voluntary, private-sector investment in preserving historic buildings. The program is jointly managed by the National Park Service and the Internal Revenue Service, in partnership with state historic preservation offices. In Maryland, $234 million in federal historic tax credits have leveraged $1.4 billion in rehabilitation expenditures on 370 projects since 2001. They have created more than 19,000 jobs from 2001 to 2012.

Former scientific building in Columbia sold to Hanover-based construction firm

NAI KLNB, a commercial real estate company based in Towson, in conjunction with C-III Realty Services, brokered the sale of Rivers Center 18 in Columbia, a single-story, all-brick building formerly occupied by Scientific Laboratories Inc. The 75,500-square-foot building was sold for $4 million. Chris Kubler and David Fritz of NAI KLNB represented the seller, C III Asset Management, and Marc Rampulla and Frank Graybeal of CBRE represented the buyer, Structural, a Hanover-based provider of specialty construction and maintenance services. The building is currently vacant but was previously occupied by Scientific Laboratories, Inc. The 29-year-old building, which sits on an 11-acre parcel with an adjacent free parking lot, contains a mixture of commercial office, warehouse and laboratory space. Structural, the new owner, intends to relocate its operations from Hanover to the new location in Columbia.

Blue & Obrecht brokers sale of building to Easter Seals

Blue & Obrecht Realty LLC, a Lutherville-based full-service commercial real estate firm, announced the sale of 7138 Windsor Boulevard to the Easter Seals Greater Washington-Baltimore Region. The single-story office building is situated on 1.5 acres and holds 12,851 square feet of space. It was originally constructed in 1982 as the headquarters for T. Talbott Bond Co., a photocopier dealership. Easter Seals will renovate the building to provide services to clients with disabilities and special needs. Easter Seals was represented by Kevin Keane of Abeshouse Partners. David Paulson and Paul F. Obrecht III, both of Blue & Obrecht Realty, represented the seller, SK Properties Ltd.

White Marsh Home2Suites hotel celebrates grand opening

Home2 Suites by Hilton, a four-story, 108-suite hotel in White Marsh, celebrated its grand opening Thursday with an announcement of a charitable community partnership, as well as a ribbon-cutting dedication and reception. The hotel will partner with The Kamryn Lambert Foundation as part of Home2 Suite’s Your2 Hands community initiative. Additionally, the hotel donated $2,000, which will help support the organization’s nursing scholarship fund. The property will support the foundation by volunteering at various events throughout the year to help raise public awareness of the foundation.

Buyouts removed from Smith Island plan

Maryland has removed property buyouts on Smith Island from a Hurricane Sandy recovery plan. Department of Housing and Community Development Secretary Raymond Skinner told Somerset County Commissioners on Thursday that the department took buyouts off the table in response to the overwhelming opposition of public comments. The Daily Times of Salisbury reported that state officials submitted a final version of the plan to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on Wednesday. The plan for $8.6 million in federal grants includes $6 million for housing rehabilitation on and $1 million for economic development.

Localities getting Smart Energy grants

The Maryland Energy Administration said it will award over $4 million in grants to nine Maryland counties, including Baltimore city, and 26 municipalities under the Maryland Smart Energy Communities Program. This new program targets county, city and local governments, and seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by promoting energy efficiency improvements, renewable energy innovation, and petroleum reduction. Awards range from $37,500 to $625,000. A number of communities also received supplemental EmPOWER Clean Energy Communities Low-to Moderate Income competitive grant funding. To find recipients of grants, go to http://energy.maryland.gov/Govt/SmartEnergyCommunities, and click on “press releases.”

HoCo mulls watershed fee hardship aid

Howard County will hold a public hearing on July 23 on draft regulations to provide hardship assistance to commercial, religious and not-for-profit property owners who will be assessed the Watershed Protection Fee beginning this year. Under a law passed by the General Assembly, the state’s 10 most populated jurisdictions, including Howard County, are required to pass a fee by July 1 to help fund infrastructure improvements and watershed protection. The legislation, however, called for hardship provisions for residential and non-residential properties to be adopted by regulation. Howard County’s draft regulations will be made available by June 21, county officials said.

Alex. Brown Realty expands holdings

A joint venture of Alex. Brown Realty Inc., a Baltimore-based real estate management company, and Chartwell Holdings LLC, of Newton, Mass., has acquired Arbor Trace Apartments, a 10-year-old apartment community in the Steele Creek area of southwest Charlotte, N.C. ABR Chesapeake Fund IV, a real estate fund sponsored by ABR, invested $7.1 million into the newly formed venture. The 384-unit property, built in 2003, consists of 16 three-story garden-style apartment buildings and a clubhouse, with an even mix of one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments. The joint venture — the second between ABR and Chartwell — will complete approximately $950,000 in exterior and interior capital improvements at the development, renamed the Arbor Steele Creek Apartments.

Wetlands restoration grants awarded

The Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund has awarded $3 million in grants to two environmental organizations to restore wetlands and streams in the Anacostia and Little Patuxent watersheds in coordination with local, state and federal agencies. The Chesapeake Bay Foundation received $1 million for wetland and stream restoration projects at the Sunrise-Navy Dairy Farm in Gambrills. Also, the Anacostia Watershed Society was awarded $2 million to enhance wetlands and streams and develop rain gardens in and around Hyattsville. The projects will help Anne Arundel and Prince George’s counties meet Chesapeake Bay restoration goals by decreasing nutrient and sediment pollution.

Apartment complex in Largo sold

Jones Lang LaSalle, a specialized real estate services firm with offices nationwide, said its Capital Markets unit closed the sale of Northampton Apartments in Largo. A partnership of Morgan Properties of King of Prussia, Pa., and New York-based DRA Advisors paid $94.65 million for the 47-building, 620-unit, garden-style apartment community. The seller, Equity Residential, of Chicago, was represented by JLL Managing Directors Al Cissel and Scott Melnick and Senior Vice President Christine Espenshade. The property was constructed in two phases in 1977 and 1987. It features two clubhouses, a business center, fitness center/cardio theater, swimming pool, tennis courts, two playgrounds and parking for 1,120 vehicles.

Two Elkridge industrial buildings sold

Terreno Realty Corp., of San Francisco, which owns and operates industrial real estate, said it has acquired two multitenant distribution buildings in Elkridge. Terreno paid approximately $16.7 million for the buildings, which are located adjacent to Interstate 95, U.S. Route 1 and Maryland Route 100. The buildings together contain approximately 349,000 square feet of space on 17.9 acres, and are 64 percent leased to seven tenants. The seller of the properties was not identified. Besides the Baltimore-Washington corridor, Terreno owns properties in Los Angeles, Northern New Jersey/New York City, the San Francisco Bay area; Seattle; and Miami.

Standard Solar to fund PV innovations

Standard Solar Inc., of Rockville, a designer and installer of solar electric system, said it intends to allocate $10 million over the next five years to innovative efforts to develop and demonstrate new products and technologies that enhance markets, reduce costs, and/or promote new revenue streams for solar photovoltaic (PV) energy projects. As part of this commitment, Standard Solar said it is working with Solar Grid Storage LLC, a Philadelphia company that assembles, delivers, installs and finances PV energy storage systems as a component of solar plants. The first project involves co-locating a PV energy storage system with a new solar installation being built in Laurel, which is scheduled to be operational by the fall of 2013.

DHCD extends veterans mortgage program

The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development announced it is extending the Maryland Homefront program, which gives mortgage and down payment assistance to veterans and their families. The initiative was launched on July 3, 2012, and had been scheduled to end on July 1, 2013. This week, DHCD Secretary Raymond A. Skinner told participating lenders that the program has been extended to Sept. 30. Under the program, qualified buyers can receive $10,000 in down payment assistance and a half-percent discount on the regular Maryland Mortgage Program rate. Homefront was launched with an allocation of $50 million. To date, $22 million has been committed or reserved for home purchases, according to DHCD.


John Foster IV has joined MacKenzie Commercial Real Estate Services as a real estate advisor, specializing in the sale and leasing of commercial space and land on Maryland’s Eastern Shore and surrounding markets. Foster will be headquartered in MacKenzie’s Annapolis office. A resident of the Eastern Shore, Foster formerly worked for HG Neff Realty Co. in Easton, focusing on residential and land sales. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business management from Washington College in Chestertown.


Cassidy Turley, a national, full-service commercial real estate firm, announced the first major lease at 11155 Red Run Blvd., a 120,327-square-foot office building in Owings Mills formerly occupied by Legg Mason Inc. Legg vacated the four-story building in January. Last month, Expedient Data Centers signed a lease for 21,236 square feet of space in the building. The remaining 99,091 square feet is suitable for a single user or can be subdivided. Cassidy Turley’s Suburban North Team represented the landlord, Dell Corp. Expedient Data Centers was represented by Cassidy Turley Vice President Luke Allen.

Greenberg Gibbons, of Owings Mills, a regional developer of mixed-use, town center and retail properties, announced the addition of four new retail tenants at its Turf Valley Towne Square community shopping center in Howard County. They are: Pet Value, a pet store, which leased 3,000 square feet; Beauty Sense Nails and Spa, offering a variety of beauty and relaxation services, which occupies 1,600 square feet; Sports Clips, a hair salon for men, occupying 1,200 square feet; and Organic Cleaners, providing environmentally friendly dry cleaning and laundry services in a 1,200-square-foot space. They join Harris Teeter, the shopping center’s anchor store, occupying a 49,002-square-foot supermarket. Five restaurants, along with Petite Cellars wine store, Inspire hair salon, Subway, Smyth Jewelers and Tiger World Class Tae Kwon Do, will open later this summer.

Blue & Obrecht Realty LLC, a Lutherville-based full-service commercial real estate firm, reported the following recently signed lease deals:

* SRA International Inc., a government contractor dedicated to solving mission and efficiency challenges for the U.S. government, leased 19,254 square feet of office space at 7142 Ambassador Road in Windsor Mill. Richard F. Blue Jr., Paul F. Obrecht III and Patrick Smith of Blue & Obrecht Realty represented the landlord, First Industrial Realty Trust. Michael Singer of Jones Lang LaSalle represented SRA International.

* Balloons ’N Blooms, a provider of balloon decorating services in the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area, leased 6,225 square feet of flex space at 1720 Belmont Ave. in Windsor Mill. Middleton Smith and Richard F. Blue Jr. of Blue & Obrecht Realty represented the landlord, Belmont Realty Associates.

* Pharmaceuticals International Inc., a science-driven contract development and manufacturing company providing dosage-form development and Good Manufacturing Practices services to the global pharmaceutical industry, leased 33,744 square feet of industrial space at 10709 Gilroy Road in Hunt Valley. Richard F. Blue Jr. and Paul F. Obrecht III of Blue & Obrecht Realty represented the landlord, First Industrial Realty Trust.

* Mitchell Air Dispatch Inc., an air cargo service, leased 10,500 square feet of space at 7522 Connelly Drive in Hanover. David R. Paulson and Middleton Smith of Blue & Obrecht Realty represented the tenant. The landlord, St. John Properties, was represented by Kellay St. John.

* Greenspring Endodontics LLC, a dental practice specializing in root canal therapy, emergency management and microsurgical procedures, leased 1,976 square feet of office space at 2650 Quarry Lake Drive at Quarry Lake at Greenspring in Baltimore County. The practice will open on Aug. 5, 2013. Patrick Smith and Richard F. Blue Jr. of Blue & Obrecht Realty represented the landlord, Obrecht Properties LLC. Charles Peacock of Health Pro Realty Group represented the tenant.

Merritt Properties LLC, of Woodlawn, a developer of office, flex, warehouse and retail properties, reported the following recently signed lease transactions:

* Brubaker Guitars Inc., a custom guitar manufacturer and distributor, leased 2,700 square feet of office and warehouse space at Golden Ring II, 6911 Golden Ring Road, in Rosedale, Baltimore County. Pat Franklin, Whit Levering, Lou Boeri and Ashley Combs of Merritt Properties represented the landlord.

* Engagepoint Inc., a provider of health care technology solutions and expertise, leased 14,978 square feet of office space at Calverton Corporate Park, 3901 Calverton Blvd., Suites 105-145, in Calverton, Prince George’s County. The listing broker was NAI Michael’s Michael Isen and Alan Cornell. Joe Nolan and Chuck Breitenother of KLNB were the tenant representatives. The landlord, Merritt Properties, was represented by its in-house leasing team of Jamie Campbell, Liz Tarran-Jones, Vince Bagli and Steve Shaw.

* Event Dynamics Inc., an event/party rental supplier, leased 2,550 square feet of warehouse space at 152 Blades Lane, Suite E, in Glen Burnie, Anne Arundel County. Jamie Campbell, Liz Tarran-Jones, Vince Bagli and Steve Shaw of Merritt Properties represented the landlord.

* ESS Recycling LLC, a provider of computer repair and warehousing, leased 2,700 square feet of warehouse space at Lansdowne Industrial Park, 26 Alco Place, in Halethorpe, Baltimore County. The landlord, Merritt Properties, was represented by its in-house leasing team of Jamie Campbell, Liz Tarran-Jones, Vince Bagli and Steve Shaw.

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