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Real Estate Weekly – 9/6/13

New dental practice opens in Hagerstown

Aspen Dental, of Syracuse, N.Y., one of the largest and fastest-growing networks of independent dental care providers in the U.S. with 400 practices in communities across 26 states, opened a new dental practice — its first in Maryland — in Hagerstown. The office, led by Dr. Zaid Al Anbaki, is located at 1730 Massey Blvd. In addition to Dr. Al Anbaki, the office consists of approximately 10 dental hygienists, dental assistants and office staff, and provides services ranging from dentures and preventive care to general dentistry and restoration. Aspen Dental practices are supported by Aspen Dental Management Inc., a dental services organization that provides non-clinical business services to licensed, independent dentists.

Hubers Bus Service gets loans to renovate its Glen Burnie office

Hubers Bus Service, a Glen Burnie-based company that has called Anne Arundel County home for more than 50 years, is set to make improvements to its administrative offices after being awarded with a total of $70,000 in financing by the Anne Arundel Economic Development Corp. The two loans from AAEDC’s Business Corridor Improvement Loan Program allow owners Ed and Carol Hubers to do façade and interior upgrades to the company’s commercial spaces. “We are very pleased to be able to get this loan from AAEDC due to the fact we were in much need of a facelift,” said Carol Hubers. “It is very nice to be able to fix up the outside of both our properties plus give our long-working employees and drivers a nice, new and fresh place to work.” The BCILP provides qualified business owners with zero interest loans of up to $35,000 for improvements to the exterior and interior of their business.

Lenny’s Deli expands Owings Mills eatery

Lenny’s Deli, Baltimore’s answer to the famous New York delicatessen, is celebrating the expansion of its Owings Mills restaurant. “The expansion includes a redesign of the restaurant for greater access to our customers and a more comfortable dining experience,” said Alan Smith, owner of Lenny’s Deli. The 5,000-square-foot delicatessen serves “Baltimore’s Best” corned beef and other “deli-cacies.” The expansion now provides electronic menu boards for ease of ordering and new furniture to accommodate larger parties. The design of the restaurant has been modernized and features a new logo and color scheme, which is also seen in the new staff uniforms. Smith opened Lenny’s in 1985 with his father, Lenny Smith, in Owings Mills in a 1,500-square-foot space in Valley Village. Three weeks later, additional space became available and the deli expanded another 2,000 square feet. About 14 years ago, Lenny’s expanded again — to a total of 5,000 square feet — and renovated its entire deli at the same time, creating a new service line and relocating the bakery. Lenny’s second location, on Baltimore’s famed Corned Beef Row on East Lombard Street, opened in 1991, and the Smiths added a third location at the Harborplace Pratt Street Pavilion in 2011. For locations and Lenny’s full menu, visit www.lennysdeli.com.

Fast-growing Advantage Engineers relocates headquarters to larger office

Columbia-based Advantage Engineers, one of the fastest-growing engineering firms in the U.S., announced it has moved its Columbia office in order to better serve clients and accommodate recent growth. The engineering firm moved to a larger, 10,000-square-foot office at 7070 Samuel Morse Drive, where it currently employs a staff of 30 — engineers, consultants, project managers, environmental specialists, CAD technicians and operational management — and has room to add another 15 staff members. Expansion is also underway in Advantage’s Mount Laurel, N.J., and Allentown, Pa., offices. To accommodate additional staff, Advantage will be moving its office in Mount Laurel to a larger facility, and the Allentown office will expand by converting warehouse space into functional office space. Advantage also has offices in Mechanicsburg and West Chester, Pa. The company’s 120 engineering, consulting and project management, geological, scientific and environmental professionals provide services to government agencies and private clients in the mid-Atlantic region.

College of Southern Maryland plans dedication of building

The College of Southern Maryland, a community college with campuses and facilities in Waldorf, La Plata, Leonardtown and Prince Frederick, will hold a dedication ceremony for the second building at its Prince Frederick campus on Tuesday at 2 p.m. The nearly 30,000-square-foot, two-story facility will have 3,000 square feet dedicated for the Center for Nuclear Energy Training including a training lab and a computer lab, and 3,000 square feet for a flexible multipurpose-use space for concerts, performances, lectures and community events. In addition, the second building will add classroom space, faculty and staff offices, a student lounge, computer lab, conference room, health care program lab and tutoring rooms. The building is seeking LEED-Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

Mullan Contracting completes project at Calvert School

The Mullan Contracting Co., of Lutherville, has completed construction of a 10,000-square-foot addition/renovation to the Lower School of Calvert School, an independent lower and middle school located near the Johns Hopkins University’s Homewood Campus in the Tuscany-Canterbury neighborhood of Baltimore. Completed in time for the new school year, the Lower School project features a mix of classrooms, office space, and meeting and conference rooms among two floors. It is located adjacent to the primary Lower School building on the Calvert School campus. Mullan Contracting finished construction of a 252-seat assembly hall contained within the Middle School building this past spring.

Return to Howard County is sweet for one company

Edwards Project Solutions and Howard County Executive Ken Ulman cut the ribbon on Tuesday on a new facility in Elkridge, marking the company’s return to the Howard County business community. This is the third relocation for the 16-year-old federal contractor. Six years ago it outgrew its previous facility in Columbia, and relocated to a new site off Coca-Cola Drive, in Hanover, Anne Arundel County. “We had moved in before I realized that I wasn’t in Howard County anymore,” said Steve Edwards, CEO and founder of Edward Project Solutions and a Howard County resident. “When we outgrew that space and started looking around, I really wanted to get back to Howard County.” They found that opportunity in Elkridge, acquiring an 8,000-square-foot suite at 6085 Marshalee Drive. The company, which now has 42 employees, will work to reach its goal of over 50 employees by the end of the year.

Draft of Howard County bike plan released for public comment

The Howard County Department of Planning and Zoning unveiled an online, interactive map for Bike Howard, the Howard County Bicycle Master Plan. The map will allow the public to review, comment and vote on the draft facility improvements proposed by the master plan. Suggested facilities also can be added to the map by the public. The map will be available for one month to allow the public time to review and comment on the proposed improvements. County planners will then use the information to refine the recommendations that will be included in the final draft of the master plan. A public meeting on the final draft plan will be held in November. The interactive map was developed jointly by the Howard County Department of Planning and Zoning and the project consultant, Toole Design Group. The map and instructions can be found on the project website, www.bikehoward.com.

RLJ Lodging Trust acquires 78-room Residence Inn Atlanta

RLJ Lodging Trust, of Bethesda, announced that it has acquired the 78-room Residence Inn Atlanta Midtown Historic in Atlanta, Ga. In November 2009, the company purchased a mortgage loan collateralized by the hotel for approximately $5 million, or approximately $64,000 per key. The company initiated and successfully acquired the asset through a foreclosure sale after the borrower defaulted on the loan in early 2013. The successful bid, which was equal to the company’s basis in the mortgage loan, represents a significant discount to the hotel’s value. The hotel will be closed later this year to undergo a comprehensive renovation that will include upgrades to the guestrooms and public spaces. When the hotel reopens in the third quarter of 2014, it will continue to have the Residence Inn by Marriott flag. With the addition of this asset, RLJ Lodging Trust now owns 150 properties, comprised of 148 hotels with more than 22,300 rooms, and two planned hotel conversions, located in 22 states and the District of Columbia.

Park and Ride planned near Hagerstown

The Maryland State Highway Administration said it’s building a new Park and Ride lot for commuter ride-sharing near Hagerstown. The agency said the 42-space lot at the intersection of Interstate 81 and Route 68 will be completed next spring, weather permitting. The lot will replace an informal, gravel lot on the shoulder of Route 68 that has been used for several years by about 20 vehicles per day. The lot will also have nine tractor-trailer spaces to help meet the demand for overnight parking by truckers on I-81. The SHA said those spaces will be for overnight use only and will be monitored for any problems.

Historic Cecil County estate to be sold

Bohemia Manor Farm, one of the oldest and most historic estates in Maryland, will be sold at auction on Oct. 12 by Easton-based DeCaro Luxury Real Estate Auctions. The property contains a classic, 12,750-square-foot Georgian manor house set on 368 acres of waterfront property on the Bohemia River, near Chesapeake City in Cecil County. The estate is appraised at $9.8 million and will be sold absolute to the highest bidder with no reserve. The property dates to 1661, when Augustine Herman, a noted Czech cartographer, was granted the land from Lord Baltimore, Cecil Calvert. For information, go to www.decaroauctions.com.

Md.’s Green Streets program expands

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy and Gov. Martin O’Malley on Wednesday unveiled an expansion of the Green Streets, Green Towns, Green Jobs (G3) Initiative, thanks to a joint investment of $3.4 million by the state of Maryland, EPA and the Chesapeake Bay Trust. Administered by the Chesapeake Bay Trust, the G3 grant program helps municipalities and nonprofit organizations support projects that add green space and reduce stormwater runoff, using green infrastructure practices that increase tree canopy, capture and filter rainwater and improve watershed protection, community livability and economic vitality. Maryland is contributing $3 million, the EPA $300,000 and the CBT $100,000 to the program over the next two years.

Comments sought on planned Purple Line

The Maryland Transit Administration announced that the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed $2.2 billion Purple Line, a 16-mile light rail line between Montgomery and Prince George’s counties, will be published Friday. During the 30-day public comment period, the public will be able to review and comment on all aspects of the document, including the alternates considered, transportation and environmental impacts, and plans for implementing the construction of the proposed east-west light rail line. Comments will be collected and provided to the Federal Transit Administration, which will then issue a decision on whether to move the project toward further design development and the right-of-way acquisition process.

LEASES

Corporate Office Properties Trust, of Columbia, announced it signed a lease with an unnamed tenant for 100 percent of a building at its National Business Park in Annapolis Junction. COPT recently completed shell construction on the approximately 125,000-square-foot office building at 312 Sentinel Way, and expects the tenant to occupy it during the first quarter of 2015. As a result of this transaction, COPT’s 1.5 million-square-foot construction pipeline, which was 74 percent pre-leased at June 30, 2013, is now 82 percent pre-leased, the company said. COPT is an office REIT that focuses primarily on serving the specialized requirements of U.S. government agencies and defense contractors, most of whom are engaged in defense information technology and national security-related activities.

Merritt Properties LLC reported the following recently signed leases:

* Her Mind Her Body LLC, a clinical professional counselor, leased 3,600 square feet of space (1,835 s.f. warehouse, 1,765 s.f. office) at Windsor Corporate Park, 2601 N. Rolling Road, Suite 105, in Catonsville. Merritt’s in-house leasing team of Pat Franklin, Whit Levering, Lou Boeri and Ashley Combs negotiated the deal on behalf of the landlord. The tenant’s representative was not identified in the announcement.

* Total Business Solutions LLC, a moving company, leased 3,300 square feet of space (300 s.f. office, 3,000 s.f. warehouse) at 3109 Lorena Ave. in Baltimore. Tom Rice of Conaway Commercial Real Estate represented the tenant. Jamie Campbell, Liz Tarran-Jones, Vince Bagli and Steve Shaw of Merritt Properties represented the landlord.

* Critical Power Testing and Maintenance LLC, a data center maintenance company, leased 5,105 square feet of warehouse space at 3115 Lorena Ave. in Baltimore. Merritt Properties’ in-house leasing team of Jamie Campbell, Liz Tarran-Jones, Vince Bagli and Steve Shaw represented the landlord. The tenant’s representative was not identified.

* MedSpeed LLC, a courier service, leased 1,500 square feet of office and warehouse space at 3730 Commerce Drive, Suite 1206, in Arbutus. James Rea of Long & Foster Real Estate Inc. represented MedSpeed in the lease negotiation. Jamie Campbell, Liz Tarran-Jones, Vince Bagli and Steve Shaw of Merritt Properties represented the landlord.

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