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January 13, 2011 



Hello, Baltimore! Allow us to introduce ourselves. We are the original commercial real estate e-blast that started in DC six years ago and has since expanded to NYC, Chicago, Boston, Houston, Dallas, Atlanta, LA, South Florida and now Baltimore. We try to be fun, informative, picture-heavy, upbeat, and mercifully short. Please give us your feedback and suggestions: Editorial@Bisnow.com.  


Big defense contracting deals are great for two reasons: they buoy leasing activity and they make us feel like secret agents just for reporting on them.

Yesterday’s 50k SF build-to-suit lease by SAIC at The GATE at Aberdeen Proving Ground will house about 300 people, most of whom work in the C4ISR group (they specialize in battlefield system integration). Construction is slated to be finished in November. SAIC tells us it looked at several properties but liked The GATE’s proximity to its DoD and Homeland Security clients. The company also has locations in Abingdon and Edgewood; no word yet on when Q stops by to give us our flamethrower spray can.  



Kudos to Cushman & Wakefield’s Whitney Nye, Courtenay Jenkins, and Tim Jackson  
Kudos to Cushman & Wakefield’s Whitney Nye, Courtenay Jenkins, and Tim Jackson for getting the nod to lease Franklin Street Properties’ 120 E. Baltimore St yesterday. Tim tells us several large CBD transactions in the works will tighten the availability of large blocks of space on Pratt Street this year, positioning the 326k SF property to make a run at large requirements (it’s got 138k SF available), like Miles & Stockbridge’s 110k SF.  
The building is also adjacent to the planned redevelopment of the area surrounding the Charles Center metro stop, being funded by surcharges to downtown property owners. C&W looks to the project’s completion to coincide with its leasing efforts; we can’t wait to check out one of those new art galleries.  




That’s why the REIT put the 138k SF Merrill Lynch building in Columbia under contract as part of a portfolio deal with two buildings in Tyson’s Corner for total price of $33.8M. They’re assuming about $30M in cross-collateralized debt obligations in the deal; CIO Nicholas Smith tells us the Merrill building is an opportunistic buy and needs a little TLC, with capital improvements planned for the lobby and garage (they love its proximity to Columbia Mall). FRP also bought 296k SF industrial warehouse 7458 Candlewood Rd in Hanover from Meridian LLC for $22.6M Wednesday, taking on a $14.7M first mortgage loan from M&T Bank as part of the purchase.





Swedish clothing giant H&M inked a 20k SF lease yesterday for a new store at General Growth Properties’ retail behemoth Harborplace, which gets 14 million visitors a year. Hipsters and fashionistas will come together (if they were ever apart) when the store opens next to Urban Outfitters this spring.


What’s your favorite secret weapon? Tell Michael.Leon@bisnow.com.

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