Real Estate Weekly: Aug. 15, 2014

Transwestern records $185M, Sail Cloth Factory sold

Commercial moves

The Broe Group, a Denver-based real estate company, announced it has bought 9601 Blackwell Road, a 120,000-square-foot, Class A property adjacent to the Shady Grove Adventist Hospital campus in Rockville. The company plans to turn it into a medical office building. It was previously used as a general office building. Broe has renamed the property Shady Grove Medical Pavilion. Broe has selected Health-Pro Realty Group of Bethesda to lease the building and Avison and Young of Gaithersburg to manage the property.

ECHO Realty LP and partner The Bernstein Cos. announced they have begun construction of The Gateway at University Town Center, located at the intersection of East-West Highway and America Boulevard in Hyattsville. The project will be anchored by a 54,400-square-foot Safeway supermarket. The two-story building includes 10,000 square feet of street retail shops along America Boulevard, linking the existing restaurant and theater components of University Town Center to East-West Highway. Above the shops, 10,000 square feet of medical offices are planned.

Arnold’s Factory Supplies Inc. has renewed it’s lease for 70,790 square feet of space at Transit Business Park, located at 3121 Washington Blvd. Transwestern negotiated the lease on behalf of  FRP Development.

Mullan Contracting Co. has started construction on a 7,920-square-foot Maserati dealership and service center in Towson. The new facility, which is at 720 Kenilworth Ave., is expected to be delivered in January. The new dealership is part of the Priority 1 Automotive Group and is adjacent to the company’s BMW and Porsche dealerships.


Multifamily news

The 37-unit walk-up apartment complex Takoma Gardens is on the market. Greysteel Co. announced Monday it is handling the sale of the three-building development located in Takoma Park. “Takoma Park, MD is seeing tremendous interest from investors as submarket changing developments such as the $2.3 million project to upgrade sidewalks and storm water along Flower Avenue between Carroll Avenue and Piney Branch Road,” Greysteel director W. Kyle Tangney said in a news release.

Delancey Street Capital announced Tuesday it has purchased the 107-unit Sail Cloth Factory Apartments. The luxury apartments are located adjacent to the University of Maryland Medical Center and the University of Baltimore. Amenities at the apartments include stainless steel appliances, 24/7 valet parking and a 2,000-square-foot roof deck. The Sail Cloth Factory, which was built between 1888 and 1911, originally produced sail cloth for marine use as well as machine belts. The building was converted to apartments in 1986.


Retail Roundup

Cilantro, a new restaurant serving Israeli cuisine, has signed a lease with David S. Brown Enterprises Ltd.  for 1,700 square feet at the Brookside Commons mixed-use development in Owings Mills, located at 9351 Lakeside Blvd. The two-story building that mixes Class A and retail space is expected to open this fall.


Big numbers

$350m Transwestern’s Multifamily Group announced Monday that it had closed four transactions involving six properties in June and July that totaled $185 million in sales. That brings the group’s total for the year to $350 million and 4,000 units. The properties sold during the previous two months include Forest Hills, Lighthouse at Twin Lakes, Shelter Cove, Carroll Park (Middle River Portfolio), Essex Park (Middle River Portfolio) and Morningside Park (Middle River Portfolio).



MacKenzie Commercial Real Estate Services LLC announced it has promoted of Senior Real Estate Advisor Meghan G. Roy to vice president of the brokerage division. Roy has been with the company since 2002, and has completed more than 600 transactions totaling more than 2 million square feet.

William “K.C.” Reed will serve as the principal engineer in Dewberry’s Frederick office. He will manage land development projects in the area for all private and public customers. The Washington County resident has more than 13 years experience as a civil engineer.


Bigger picture

Steven Bloom, operating partner of PMC Property Group in Baltimore, said his company has decided to develop 175 apartments in a handful of formerly city-owned buildings near the intersection of Calvert and Lombard streets. The company initially planned to build anywhere between 140 and 185 units, and briefly considered demolishing the properties, Bloom said — but it quickly became obvious it was more feasible to keep the buildings.

Pity Prince George’s County. While its neighbors, Anne Arundel and Howard counties, have made great leaps forward in leasing prime office space, Prince George’s actually went backwards. Of course, that pity might soon turn to envy, as Prince George’s has two of the three sites under consideration for the next home of the FBI headquarters, a bonanza of a development if ever there were one. But for now, a report from NAI KLNB showed that Prince George’s County office market didn’t have a great second quarter.

Maryland’s housing market continues posting disappointing foreclosure numbers but there are signs the trend may be coming to an end. A report released by real estate information firm RealtyTrac on Thursday showed Maryland having the second-highest foreclosure rate in the nation behind Florida last month. According to the report, one in every 553 housing units in the state had a foreclosure notice in July. Baltimore city, Prince George’s, Charles and Caroline counties had the highest foreclosure rates in the state.


Office leasing activity in the Baltimore metro market is up by 6.5 percent, according to Cushman & Wakefield’s Market Note on mid-year activity. The increase in activity is primarily being driven by an increase in lease renewals. So far this year there are 1.8 million square feet of office space leased in the Baltimore market, and 44.2 percent of that has come from renewals. That’s a huge jump from the last year when only 29.1 percent of transactions were renewals.

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