New Developer for Laurel Apartments
Ground will break in the fall on Laurel’s first new apartments since ’08 (that ground has been getting off easy for too long), thanks to the sale of a fully rezoned and entitled industrial lot that’s sat idle for even longer.
Cohen Siegel Investors’ Alan Cohen tells us he paid $8.5M for the 11 acres at 9007 Marshall Ave and will start in a few months on the $60M Phase 1 (296 apartments across three buildings). The bulldozers are moving so fast because the previous owner, Patriot Realty, did the entitlement and design work (Hord Coplan Macht). It had acquired the property in ’07 but got dealt a bad hand with the country’s economic crash and Laurel Mall redevelopment delays.
Above is the 50-unit building at Marshall Avenue and Staggers Road. Closing happened fast, as well—seven calendar days—owing to Patriot Realty’s deadline with its lender (we reported Hudson Realty Capital’s bridge loan on the property in October ’12). Alan tells us that didn’t leave much room for his standard due diligence, but the fact that permits were ready made it worth it to pull together the cash, and his lender was on board, too. The pre-Patriot owner had held the property, a 48k SF MARC Train warehouse, since the 1950s. (That building could tell you some stories about Eisenhower that would have you rolling with laughter.) It also helps that the last multifamily built in Laurel went up in ’08 and is 97% occupied, Alan says.
Here are the 158-unit building on the left and 88-unit one on the right (each will include 2,500 SF of retail). Alan will start design work on Phase 2 (which will rise behind this pair of properties) within eight months. Current entitlements allow for 500 units, but the Laurel Revitalization Overlay District, passed in 2012, allows for 1,006 units across both phases. That means Cohen Siegel could add 210 more units to the second phase. The district also allows 140k SF of office and retail.
C&W’s Nick Signor (left, who repped the seller with colleagues Brian Kruger and Cris Abramson) points out that it’s a prime location in the land-constrained B-W Corridor, considering the retailers opening within walking distance at Towne Centre at Laurel (Greenberg Gibbons’ redo of Laurel Mall) and the five miles to Fort Meade (Alan notes that it’s down the street from the MARC station, too). The Towne Centre was “just an idea” when Patriot Realty acquired the parcel, Nick says. Now, as Cohen Siegel takes over, it’s a full-blown reality.