ASHKENAZY FEELING OUT THE MARKET
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|The Village at Cross Keys has been a Baltimore mainstay for more than 50 years, but its new owner, NYC's Ashkenazy, is new to the market. (Forgive its colloquialisms, such as calling any project that was supposed to be two phases but turned into three a "Bloomberg.") It will make a decision soon on whether to do a modest renovation or maybe even an addition.|
|Manekin's Stacey Berman and Susan Homberg are leasing the office there and tell us the 78k SF Village Square I and II (add one more for the full Bloomberg) are pretty much occupied and the 110k SF Quadrangle is 30% vacant. Ashkenazy, which bought the office and 74k SF of retail from General Growth for $25M in March, is figuring out what uses the submarket needs, they say.|
|Meanwhile, they're barreling forward on leasing (blocks from 230 SF to 8,000 are available) and tenants that have shown interest include some new to the submarket. We also spoke with Hekemian's Chris Bell for an update on the nearby Rotunda, which similarly serves small professional services tenants (80 of them) with its 137k SF of office, redone in '71. Hekemian is also putting $100M into its retail component, tripling the current 215k SF. He says the retail redo includes office lobby renovations. Meanwhile, he's talking to three grocery stores to replace Giant (it's all about who can most elegantly stack ripe bananas); he expects a deal by the end of the year and to start construction by the end of May.|