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Real Estate Weekly – 9/20/13

Joppa Road strip center sells for $6,175,000

MacKenzie Commercial Real Estate Services, of Lutherville, said its Investment Sale team, headed by Vice President Donald K. Schline, handled the sale of a 21,400-square-foot retail strip center at 3613 East Joppa Road. Known as Main Street at Joppa, the retail center is anchored by The All American Steakhouse and Sports Theater and was 100 percent leased at the time of the sale. The buyer, Deronda Corp., paid $6,175,000 for the property. “This sale demonstrates the strength of the Baltimore County retail market. Its pricing indicates that the economics of new development, even speculative development, are once again attractive,” Schline said. Schline represented the seller, Main Street Joppa LLC, in the transaction. Deronda’s representative was not identified.

Beazer announces plans to build in Baltimore Co.

Atlanta-based Beazer Homes USA Inc., one of the nation’s largest home builders, said it plans to open two new communities in Baltimore County. In the Owings Mills submarket, Beazer plans to build over 500 townhomes and condominium units in a community to be called Ballard Green, located 1.5 miles from I-795. In the White Marsh area, Beazer plans to build over 100 single family homes and approximately 300 townhomes in a community to be called Windlass Run. It will be located off the extension of Route 43, which links Middle River and White Marsh. Sales in both communities are expected to start in the spring of 2014.

AIA Maryland presents awards for excellence in architecture

AIA Maryland, a component of the American Institute of Architects, announced the winners of its 2013 Design Awards. The top winners were: Public Building of the Year, Hord Coplan Mach | FREELON for Morgan State University’s Center for the Built Environment and Infrastructure Studies in the Institutional Architecture category; and in the Student Architectural Design category, Graduate Design Award winner Godwin Obami for the Intermodal Transit Center at Charles North in Baltimore; and Undergraduate Design Award winner Zahra Naserdehghan for the Green Wave project in Baltimore. Both Obami and Naserdehghan are students at Morgan State University. For the complete list of award winners, go to www.aiamd.org.

KLNB Retail brokers eight leases in 2 retail centers

KLNB Retail announced it brokered eight separate retail leases totaling approximately 90,000 square feet of space on behalf of The Fedder Co., of Owings Mills, for two shopping centers in the Greater Baltimore region. Five leases, representing approximately 15,000 square feet of space, were signed at Chesapeake Square Shopping Center, a 215,000-square-foot retail center in Glen Burnie. Three leases totaling approximately 70,000 square feet of space, were signed at One Mile West Shopping Center, a 125,000-square-foot center in Catonsville. All of the transactions were handled by KLNB Principals Michael Patz and Patrick A.M. Miller, and Ryan Minnehan, KLNB Retail leasing associate.

New Walgreens drug store reaches topping-off stage

The Mullan Contracting Co., of Lutherville, has topped off a new, 13,000-square-foot Walgreens drug store at the intersection of Warren Road and York Road in Cockeysville. The two-story building is being built on a site that formerly housed a full-service gasoline station that was demolished prior to construction activities. The store will feature a full-service pharmacy, as well as separate sections for health care products, groceries, gifts, holiday and seasonal items, and a one-hour photo developing department.

New affordable housing project to hold topping-off celebration

Federal, state and local officials and private-sector representatives will gather for the topping-off celebration at The Greens at English Consul, a new, $14.6 million development containing 90 affordable apartments for seniors in the Lansdowne/Baltimore Highlands neighborhood of Baltimore County. Slated for completion in 2014, the four-story building, developed by Enterprise Homes, will consist of 72 one-bedroom and 18 two-bedroom apartments affordable to seniors earning 30-60 percent of area median income. The topping-off ceremony takes place on Sept. 25.

Bozzuto, MGL Partners start construction of Alexandria, Va., apartment development

The Bozzuto Group, a Greenbelt-based real estate services company, and MGL Partners, a Denver-based development company, announced they have closed financing and broken ground on The Frasier, a $75 million, 249-unit apartment community in Alexandria, Va., just across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C. The financing consists of a construction loan provided by Bank of America and RBS Citizens and equity provided by The Bozzuto Group and MGL Partners. Bozzuto Construction Co. began work this month and the community is scheduled for completion in spring 2015.

University of Maryland breaks ground on largest building ever on UMB campus

The University of Maryland has broken ground on a new, 428,970-square-foot, 10-story research facility for the School of Medicine. Health Sciences Research Facility III will be the largest single building ever built on the University of Maryland, Baltimore campus. The $305.4 million facility will provide both the laboratory space and new technology for the School of Medicine to continue research into the most critical disease categories. The School of Medicine will fund $65 million of the building’s cost, with the remainder coming from state appropriations. The building’s architects are HOK and Design Collective Inc., and the construction manager is Barton Malow. The project is scheduled for completion in December 2017, and occupancy in January 2018.

New dog park taking shape at Honeygo Run Regional Park

A crowd of Baltimore County officials, enthusiastic dog owners and community leaders were on hand this week to witness the start of construction on Perry Paw Dog Park at Honeygo Run Regional Park in Perry Hall. “This dog park is really an investment in the quality of life for residents in the Perry Hall area,” said County Executive Kevin Kamenetz. “I appreciate the support of the Perry Paw Dog Park Committee in raising private funds to contribute toward this valuable new recreational amenity for the community.” The committee raised $20,000 to help fund the $205,000 addition to Honeygo Run Regional Park, and will be responsible for operating the facility. The dog park — the fourth such facility in Baltimore County — is expected to be completed by spring 2014. 

Accuvant opens in Howard County

Accuvant Inc., an information security firm based in Denver, is opening a new Cybersecurity Research and Operations Center in Elkridge, and has moved its Maryland office, formerly located in Hanover, to the Howard County site. All of the approximately 70 employees in Accuvant’s Maryland office have moved to the new location, and the company expects to add a number of new jobs in Howard County. Accuvant said the state-of-the-art facility is the headquarters for its federal cybersecurity business unit, and the primary location for its managed services operations center. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on Thursday.

WRIT lands lease with Va. school board

Rockville-based Washington Real Estate Investment Trust announced that it has executed a lease with the Alexandria City School Board at Braddock Metro Center in Alexandria, Va. The new, 15-year lease, which starts June 1, is for approximately 85,000 square feet. The school board will fully occupy 1340 Braddock Place, one of the four buildings in the complex.

Public comment sought on shale study

The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has scheduled two public meetings to receive public comment regarding the study of potential public health impacts associated with the possible development of the Marcellus Shale in Western Maryland. DHMH is overseeing the study, which will be performed by the Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health at the University of Maryland School of Public Health. The meetings will be held on Sept. 24 from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. at Frostburg State University in Frostburg, and on Oct. 5 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Garrett College in McHenry.

New power plant in Cecil Co. advances

Old Dominion Electric Cooperative, of Glen Allen, Va., said it finalized the terms of its agreement with Mitsubishi Power Systems Americas Inc. Mitsubishi will supply two natural gas-powered turbines and associated electric generators to ODEC’s proposed Wildcat Point generation facility. Wildcat Point will be a natural gas-fueled power plant in Rising Sun, adjacent to ODEC’s existing Rock Springs plant. The new power plant will be one of the cleanest natural gas facilities of its size in Maryland and will generate approximately 1,000 megawatts, enough to power 390,000 homes in the region annually. The plant is expected to become operational in 2017.

Casino at Ocean Downs plans expansion

The Casino at Ocean Downs said it received approval from the Worcester County Planning Commission to construct a 35,000-square-foot expansion plus a back-of-the-house mezzanine adjacent to the casino and the Ocean Downs Racetrack. Company officials said the new building will hold a racing sports restaurant to include simulcast wagering with a view of the harness racetrack, a large storage area and larger back-office space. The casino also wants to add 10 table games (it presently has none), but needs to solve seasonal staffing logistics before seeking approval from the State Lottery and Gaming Control Commission, officials said. The casino does not plan to increase the number of slot machines, but will move some of its 800 machines into the new space.

PERSONNEL

Mueller Associates, of Baltimore, a mechanical, electrical and plumbing engineering firm, announced the pending retirement of Eugene Nerf Jr. Nerf served as vice president and director of Mueller’s design division from 1981 to 1992, when he became the firm’s majority stockholder, chairman and president, serving until 2006. Since that time, he has remained as an officer of the firm. Nerf plans to retire at the end of the year, but will continue as a part-time consultant with the firm. A native of Baltimore, Nerf graduated from the Johns Hopkins University Whiting School of Engineering with a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering, then joined Mueller as a designer in 1966, the firm’s first year of operation. He has been a professional engineer in Maryland, the District of Columbia and other mid-Atlantic states since 1975.

LEASES

Cushman & Wakefield of Maryland Inc. reported the recent signing of three office leases at 400 E. Pratt St. in Baltimore. R2integrated, a digital marketing and technology firm, signed a new lease for 15,467 square feet of space on the building’s 11th floor. Cerecor Inc., a biotechnology company developing neuroscience drugs that target underserved patient segments of common diseases, signed a new lease for 6,213 square feet on the sixth floor, relocating from 2400 Boston St. Also Havas Discovery, the data, analytics, digital and customer relationship management arm of Havas Worldwide, renewed its lease of 17,248 square feet on the 10th floor. Matthew Haas of Colliers International represented R2integrated; Christopher Smith of TriAlliance represented Cerecor; and Michael Singer and Mackey Cronin of Jones Lang LaSalle represented Havas Discovery.

Merritt Properties reported a recent lease signing by ACT Inc., an education and career assessment company, which agreed to lease 8,223 square feet of office space at Schilling Green II, 225 Schilling Circle, in Hunt Valley. Mike Norris of the Ezra Co. represented ACT; Merritt Properties’ in-house leasing team of Pat Franklin, Whit Levering, Lou Boeri and Ashley Combs represented the landlord in the lease negotiations.