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March 9, 2011 


Not that Hotel Monaco ever stopped taking guests, but Baltimore and Charles Associates announced Monday that the US Bankruptcy Court will approve its plan to sell the hotel space at 2 N Charles St to Kimpton Hotels for $33M as part of its Chapter 11 filing.


An affiliate of Bethesda’s Kenwood Management is buying the landmark building’s retail and office space (ground-level and floors four through six) for $1.3M, says B&C attorney Larry Yumkas. He tells us his client converted the case to voluntary bankruptcy after design-build contract price overruns by contractors last year in the midst a $65M renovation meant it would get creditors a better deal. Kimpton was already managing the hotel space, Larry tells us, and Kenwood will focus on keeping the office space consistent with the Monaco brand (in other words, really, really nice). Larry says the deal will officially close three to four weeks after the court enters a confirmation record, the timing of which is still unclear.




This morning we talked to new St. John Properties president Larry Maykrantz, a black belt who started as company controller 29 years ago. Larry tells us it all began in 1982, when he answered a newspaper ad and met Ed St. John in the office on a Saturday. After a few interviews (including a session with an industrial psychologist—we’re assuming he passed), he moved into an office next to Ed’s. Growth through acquisitions and JVs is SJP’s strategy in the long-term, Larry says, and he’s excited about the firm’s exclusive development rights at Aberdeen Proving Ground (they’ve built 500k SF there in the past 17 months).




Remember when we told you about the University of Maryland Medical Systems 58k SF lease at 250 W Pratt St? We’re not done yet—Kane Construction CEO Dennis Kane (posing by the space his company did at JHU’s Bayview Campus) tells us his company has been selected to build out UMMS’ six-floor space for its finance and procurement groups. Dennis says his main focus is consistency (a challenge considering existing build-outs range from vanilla to Morgan Stanley’s high-end executive suites), with the project completing in late April. New TI contracts usually run around $50/SF, sources say, but costs for 250 W Pratt should be lower because it’s second-generation space.




In a deal brokered by KLNB Retail, Stanford Properties sold The Shoppes at Gateway Plaza in Columbia on Monday to an LLC of the same name for $3.5M ($148/SF). The 24k SF center is located in COPT’s Columbia 650-acre Gateway Business Community and is 87% leased to 10 tenants. We’re excited to say we’ll be able to drop by the center for fresh-baked naan bread from Flavors of India, which signed a lease for its second Columbia location at the old Aida’s Bistro space.




Thursday at architectural firm Wiencek + Associates’ 25th anniversary party in DC, we snapped Hamel Builders president Phil Gibbs with MW Financial’s Muriel Watkins and Ben Dyer Associates head Doug Hansford. Phil tells us he’s working with Manekin to rehab a former industrial building in Hampden into Union Mill, a mixed-use development including 55 apartments marketed to Teach For America employees and a 30k SF office leased to non-profits. The $10M project (financed in part by $2.9M in historic building tax credits) delivers in 12 months, says Phil.


We also saw Harkins Builders’ Tom Capps, Jerry Smith, and Steve Rubin, who tell us Phase 1 of Riverside Apartments in Belcamp (three miles from Aberdeen Proving Ground) breaks ground this April. Steve says the $40M, 212-unit project (being developed by Thomas Builders and Chesapeake Realty Partners) is currently going through HUD’s 221(d)(4) financing approval process and thinks it might be the “first luxury garden apartment project to break ground in Harford County in 20 years.” Phase 2 includes 188 market-rate units with a TBD start date. In the picture, Jerry is wearing a pin from Harkins’ 25th anniversary, which happened 20 years ago. What can we say? True style is timeless.



Reznick Baltimore office's Bill Riley at Bisnow Washington Real Estate Summit

Great to see several folks from Baltimore last week at both our DC and NYC events. At our conference on the future of Times Square: Reznick Baltimore office's Bill Riley. The guy on Bill's left was obviously rushing to sign up for another of our events, which (clearly) attract the industry's best talent.


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