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Real Estate Weekly – 7/26/13

Experient moves to new space in Frederick

Experient Inc., a meeting and event planning company based in Frederick, has moved its headquarters from 1888 Market St., where it occupied about 60,000 square feet, to a 50,000-square-foot space at 5202 Presidents Court, a four-story, 233,000-square-foot office building located near the Westview Shopping Center. “This real estate transaction was one of the largest moves to a built facility in Frederick in the last five years,” said Richard Griffin, Frederick’s director of economic development. Although smaller, the new office on the third floor of the 17-year-old Class A building offers more efficient use of space than its former headquarters location, Harby Tran, an Experient spokesman, said. Experient, a unit of Fenton, Ohio-based Maritz Travel Co., employs about 550 people, 250 of whom are based in Frederick. Other corporate offices are located in Twinsburg, Ohio, outside of Cleveland, and Vernon Hills, Ill, near Chicago. The company has numerous satellite and sales offices nationwide, as well as in Canada, the U.K., Russia, Brazil and South Africa.

Leake Hall at MICA to open in August

LeakeHall-03.1_DSC6302-hi-res-to-email.jpg_webThe Maryland Institute College of Art announced the opening in August of Leake Hall, a new residence hall in its newly renovated Founders Green Residential Complex (formerly called The Commons). Leake Hall, named for former MICA President Eugene W. “Bud” Leake Jr., is located at 130 McMechen St. in Bolton Hill, with one side occupying a large portion of North Avenue. The new building increases the Founders Green complex from 99 to 161 units and expands accommodations from 350 to 590 students. (Overall, MICA has about 1,000 beds of student housing on campus, plus additional off-campus housing.) The 88,000-square-foot Leake Hall includes a multifunctional performance space, a tiered lecture hall, artist studios and two new living/learning communities focused on performing arts and health and wellness. The architect for Leake Hall is Hord Coplan Macht, and the architect for the renovations of Founders Green is Ayers Saint Gross. Whiting-Turner Contracting Co. is the contractor for the Founders Green project. The new residence hall cost $16.3 million and the renovations to the current complex cost $3 million, financed primarily by tax-exempt bonds issued by MICA through the Maryland Health and Higher Education Facilities Authority.

Boordy Vineyards’ production facility set for Sept. 12 opening

Boordy Vineyards, which at 68 years old is Maryland’s oldest winery, has scheduled the grand opening on Sept. 12 of its new production facility. The vineyard at 12820 Long Green Pike, in Hydes, is located on a 245-acre farm and is owned and operated by the R.B. Deford family. The new, 7,200-square-foot building, located adjacent to Boordy’s iconic 19th-century barns, will house 32 new stainless fermentation tanks that incorporate state-of-the-art technology for optimum wine quality, as well as a new laboratory and temperature-controlled room for bottled wine storage. The exterior of the building will remain true to the farm’s unique architecture and includes a timber frame production porch and rustic stone walls. Boordy farms 45 acres of vines between its two vineyard locations, and produces over 100,000 gallons of wine annually. It is considered one of Baltimore County’s most popular tourist destinations, receiving over 60,000 visitors each year. In addition to producing wines, Boordy hosts a number of farmer’s markets, special events and concerts on the property.

MacKenzie aids St. Agnes’ Women’s OB-GYN Group in relocating office

MacKenzie Commercial Real Estate Services, of Lutherville, announced that the Women’s OB-GYN Group of Saint Agnes Hospital has moved into 14,000 square feet of office space at 8945 Guilford Road in Columbia. A part of Saint Agnes’ Seton Medical Group network, the all-female obstetrics and gynecology practice is relocating and expanding from Little Patuxent Parkway in Columbia. The group of 12 physicians specializes in the comprehensive obstetric and gynecologic care of reproductive-aged women. The new location will provide the team with the space needed to serve its growing client base. MacKenzie Senior Vice President Karen S. Deeley provided tenant advisory services to the OB-GYN Group on Saint Agnes’ behalf.

Maryland Aerospace slates celebration of expansion in Crofton business park

Maryland Aerospace Inc., a Crofton-based technology company, has slated a celebration on Friday of its expansion at the Priest Bridge Business Park. The growing company moved from a 2,800-square-foot space at the business park into 5,000 square feet of space in the same location. Maryland Aerospace specializes in the development of miniature space technology for NASA, the Department of Defense, industry and academia. The company has capitalized on advances in microelectronics to build shoebox-sized spacecraft that can carry out many of the same military and scientific missions as were previously reserved for much larger and more expensive satellites. In 2009, the company developed its signature product, the Kestrel Eye miniature intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance satellite, and since then has been awarded a number of government contracts for its products and technology.

Cisneros to keynote housing conference

Henry Cisneros, who served as secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development during the administration of President Bill Clinton, will be the keynote speaker at the 13th annual Governor’s Housing Conference at the Baltimore Hilton hotel on Sept. 27. Cisneros is executive chairman of the CityView companies, which works with urban homebuilders to create homes priced within the range of average families. CityView is a partner in building more than 60 communities in 13 states, incorporating more than 7,000 homes with a home value of over $2 billion. The annual Governor’s Housing Conference is the largest and most comprehensive affordable housing forum in the state, bringing together housing advocates, community development leaders, housing authorities, home builders, developers, lenders and legislators to discuss solutions and opportunities for affordable homeownership and rental housing in Maryland.

Study looks at impact of agriculture on Md.

The impact of agriculture and related services on Maryland’s economy amounts to $8.25 billion annually, according to a study published by the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Maryland, College Park. Researchers found that for every dollar generated directly by agriculture or forestry industries, 45 cents was added to other sectors in the state. The study — the first of its kind since 2005 — also found that agriculture, forestry and the agricultural support sectors employ 28,573 workers directly and stimulate another 17,025 jobs, for a total employment of 45,600 workers throughout Maryland. To view the report, go to https://arec.umd.edu/sites/default/files/_docs/Ag_Impact_Download_Version.pdf/.

COPT lands major tenant at data center

Corporate Office Properties Trust, a Columbia-based real estate investment trust, announced that it has executed a lease with a Fortune 100 Global consumer electronics and technology company for 2 megawatts at COPT DC-6, its wholesale data center in Manassas, Va. The identity of the tenant was not disclosed. COPT DC-6 has nine operational MWs out of a total potential capacity of 18 MWs. With this 2 MW commitment, 6.3 MWs of the data center’s nine operating MWs are committed, which increases the percentage leased from 48 percent at June 30, 2013 to 70 percent. COPT is an office REIT that focuses primarily on serving the specialized requirements of U.S. government agencies and defense contractors.

Environmental project funds distributed

The Chesapeake Bay Trust and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday announced $400,000 in funding to seven municipalities and nonprofit organizations through the Green Streets, Green Jobs, Green Towns (G3) initiative. G3 supports green infrastructure projects that improve water quality, community livability and economic vitality throughout the region. Four of the grants, totaling $180,000, went to Maryland jurisdictions. Cambridge will receive $75,000 for a stormwater runoff project; the Low Impact Development Center Inc. is getting two $35,000 grants for projects in Forest Heights and Bladensburg; and $35,000 is going to Prince George’s County for water quality infrastructure construction and maintenance. Other grant recipients are in the District of Columbia, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

Lower Susquehanna Greenway gets grant

The Maryland Heritage Areas Authority has given a grant of $100,000 to the Lower Susquehanna Heritage Greenway for heritage area management, project reinvestment and a mini-grant program. The greenway is a nonprofit organization, based in Darlington, whose mission is to stimulate local economic activity by developing a linkage to natural, historic and cultural resources through land and water recreational trails. The grant is part of a package of 58 matching grants from the MHAA totaling more than $2.7 million awarded to Maryland nonprofit organizations, local jurisdictions and tourism groups to fund historic preservation, natural resource protection and educational programs in 12 state-designated heritage areas.

Silver Spring shopping center acquired

Regency Centers Corp., of Jacksonville, Fla., a real estate investment trust that owns, operates and develops grocery-anchored and community shopping centers, closed on the off-market acquisition of Shoppes of Burnt Mills, a 31,316-square-foot neighborhood center in Silver Spring, for a gross purchase price of $13.6 million. Built in 2004, Shoppes of Burnt Mills is anchored by a 9,306-square-foot Trader Joe’s grocery store, as well as other national retailers such as Starbucks, Chico’s and AT&T. Regency purchased the property with a co-investment partner that was not identified. Regency’s share of the purchase price was $2.7 million. The seller was not named in the company’s announcement of the acquisition.

New soccer stadium slated for D.C.

(AP) DC United and city officials have agreed to a deal that would keep the Major League Soccer franchise in the District of Columbia with a new, $300 million soccer-only stadium. The city and the team would split the cost of the stadium tentatively scheduled to open in 2016 in the Buzzard Point section of Southwest Washington, less than a mile from Nationals Park. DC United has played in RFK Stadium since its inception. The design has not been finalized, but officials said it will seat 20,000 to 25,000 people. The city will pay $150 million to acquire the land for the stadium and build infrastructure, raising money through land swaps.

Casino bidder buys land in P.G. County

(AP) One of the three bidders for a Prince George’s County casino site has purchased a 22-acre site in Fort Washington The Washington Post reported that a deed filed with county courts shows that a Greenwood Racing affiliate bought the land near Indian Head Highway and Old Fort Road last month for $1.4 million. Greenwood owns the Parx casino outside Philadelphia. MGM Resorts is proposing a casino at National Harbor and Penn National Gaming bid for a gaming facility at Rosecroft Raceway in Fort Washington. Maryland regulators plan to choose the winning bidder by the end of the year.

PERSONNEL 

Matthew B. Mueller, a vice president at Lutherville-based MacKenzie Commercial Real Estate Services, has been elected president of the Greater Towson Committee for a two-year term. The GTC is a nonprofit organization that promotes investment in Towson through development and revitalization of property and infrastructure. As president, Mueller will be responsible for the overall direction of the GTC, overseeing initiatives designed to bring positive growth and exposure to Towson’s business community. Mueller, a Towson native, is a graduate of St. Paul’s School and Towson University.

LEASES 

The Emmes Corp., a health research consulting firm, announced that it has signed a 10-year lease at its current location at 401 N. Washington St. in Rockville’s town center. The new lease, for 97,000 square feet, gives the company almost three times the amount of space as its original lease. Emmes provides scientific and technical support for clinical research studies funded by industry, foundations and government agencies. The company employs more than 300 specialists whose skills range from biomedical research to biostatistics to information technology. Larry Bank and Lisa Benjamin of Newmark Knight Frank represented Emmes in lease negotiations with the landlord, 401 North Washington LLC.

Merritt Properties LLC of Woodlawn reported the following recently signed leases:

* LCG Technologies Inc., a government tech contractor, agreed to lease 2,825 square feet of office space at [email protected] Research & Technology Park, 5523 Research Park Drive, Suite 140, in Catonsville. Joe Donegan of Tyler Donegan Real Estate represented LCG. Merritt Properties, the landlord, was represented by its in-house leasing team of Jamie Campbell, Liz Tarran-Jones, Vince Bagli and Steve Shaw.

* Just Business LLC, a cleaning services company, leased 515 square feet of office space at Owings Mills Corporate Campus, 10055 Red Run Blvd., Suite 120, in Owings Mills. Merritt Properties’ in-house leasing team of Pat Franklin, Whit Levering, Lou Boeri and Ashley Combs represented the landlord. The tenant representative was not identified.

* For Your Installation LLC, a furniture storage and installation company, leased 3,900 square feet of warehouse and office space at 8831 Kelso Drive in Middle River. Merritt was represented by its in-house leasing team of Pat Franklin, Whit Levering, Lou Boeri and Ashley Combs. The tenant representative was not identified.