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January 4, 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.


New Year’s resolutions aren’t enough; we want predictions. That’s why we talked to Grubb & Ellis regional honcho Paul Adkins for his thoughts on 2011.

He just got back from a trip to Jamaica (his kids say vacations there should be the new normal), so don’t be surprised by his sunny outlook. He tells us while the 1.3M SF of new office deliveries coming up this year will present a challenge for Baltimore’s market, he expects job growth in healthcare (think Johns Hopkins, University of Maryland, and Mercy Hospital) to result in about 400k SF of positive absorption and a marginal decrease in vacancy for the metro area. Paul predicts rents in Class-A and B office properties should inch up by about 25 cents per SF and expects to see stabilization in industrial assets. He also thinks owners of stabilized properties will take advantage of low cap rates in the sales market due to plentiful investment capital.




Cassidy's Baltimore capital markets team just won't leave those industrial sales alone. They repped the seller in yesterday’s all-cash purchase of Commerce Corporation’s HQ by Industrial Income Trust from RREEF for $16.1M. Jon told us bidding on the 274k SF building was frenzied, with over 20 offers from mostly institutional buyers submitted in two weeks. RREEF selected IIT around the end of October but took several months to close the deal due to SEC filing constraints. The buyer liked the building’s long-term lease, strong credit, functionality, and location, although it'll be replacing the roof this spring. Jon said it traded at a sub-7% cap rate, the lowest in Baltimore since 2007.




Love the lab sciences? You’re in luck. The MD Industrial Development Finance Authority (which is administered by the state Department of Business and Economic Development) issued $65M worth of recovery zone facility bonds Thursday to help finance construction on a new 200k SF lab building at UMd’s BioPark in West Baltimore. The project, developed by Wexford Science & Technology, will break ground Q2 2011 and is expected to generate 375 to 400 jobs, taking around 15 months to deliver. The bonds are secured by a letter of credit from M&T Bank, which is taking the same credit risk as it would with a conventional mortgage loan. Tim Doyle tells us the bonds provide borrowers with lower interest rates and consist of the city's $30M allocation combined with another $35M from the counties.




Anne Arundel County’s planning and zoning department approved site plans last week for Maryland Live!, the Cordish Cos’ $500M casino development at Arundel Mills Mall. That puts the project’s first phase (2,000 slot machines and a parking garage) on track to open in late 2011. The second phase, slated to open in 2012, will include an additional 5,000 machines and a restaurant concept by chef Bobby Flay. County executive John Leopold tells us he expects construction to generate almost 2,000 jobs.


New year, new news. Tell us what’s up. Michael.leon@bisnow.com.

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