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May 22, 2014
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 redevelopmentdelays.
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.
Cumberland Gears Up for You
Shawn Hershberger, economic development coordinator for the City of Cumberland, tells us its amazing 2014 events series is drawing the best and brightest to this lots-to-offer hamlet. Mid-Atlantic business types and entrepreneurs can find opportunities at the commercial property open house on Saturday, May 31. The event coincides with an interactive artists' showcase and Cumberland Comes Alive concert series season premiere. On display will be the high quality of Cumberland living that costs a fraction of larger cities. Cumberland Economic Development's nerve center will be based in the vacant, for-sale 86 Baltimore St. Drop in and discover how you can benefit from any of the 34 Cumberland properties available for sale or lease, and talk business incentives, relocation packages, and the general awesomeness of Cumberland. For more info on our sponsor, click here.
Greenberg Gibbons Founder's Big Gift
The Skip Viragh Outpatient Cancer Building that'll open in 2017 as part of Johns Hopkins' Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Center will house the world's first bladder cancer institute, thanks to a $15M donation from Greenberg Gibbons founder Erwin Greenberg and his wife, Stephanie Cooper Greenberg (above), as well as $30M from Johns Hopkins. Yesterday, Erwin and Stephanie told us they approached JHU about establishing the institute after learning it's the most expensive cancer to treat (costs total $4B a year in the US) and that bladder cancer patients are extremely underserved, despite the fact that they know plenty of people struck by the disease. Their gift will establish the Johns Hopkins Greenberg Bladder Cancer Institute.
Erwin, who serves on Kimmel Center's board, tells us 74,000 people in the US are diagnosed with bladder cancer each year and 15,000 will die from it (there are 330,000 known cases worldwide). Stephanie, who's on the Johns Hopkins University Berman Institute of Bioethics board, says both she and her husband have problem-solving personalities (if you want to get them a gift, it sounds like they both would enjoy puzzles), and this first-ever hub of bladder cancer research has the potential to save thousands of lives. She says it'll be a multidisciplinary organization and offer grants to doctors outside the institute, as well. The Greenberg Institute will open this year and operate in the Bunting Blaustein building until the Viragh Building opens.
Baltimore Rocks ICSC!
At ICSC RECon, the action doesn't stop when the convention center closes. Scores of parties happened throughout Vegas all week, for real estate pros (including many from Baltimore) to squeeze in some more networking. At DC's annual bash Sunday night on the Palazzo's windy pool deck, we snapped Dewberry's Brian Bradner, Davey's Dave Zeitlin, Harkins Builders' Steve Rubin and Tom Capps, and Century Engineering's Jacquelyn Schingeck.
At the always extravagant Maryland Party Monday night at Steve Wynn's Encore Beach Club, we snapped Cordish Co up-and-comers Tim Donovan and BJ Glenn with Newmark Grubb Knight Frank's Matthew Cooper.
Welcome Back, Blue Angels
MacKenzie Commercial hosted 75 clients at its Annapolis office to celebrate the return of the Blue Angels, their first Commissioning Week flight since 2010. Among the bird watchers: MacKenzie's Dave Sciamarelli, M&T Bank's Greg Brouillette (who also was celebrating his company's $60M contract to extend its naming rights at the Ravens' stadium), MacKenzie's Bethany Hobbs, and Social Growth Technologies' Mike Melka and his wife Kelly.
Bisnow's Future of Annapolis & B-W Corridor Event
Long thought of as the white space between DC and Baltimore, the B-W Corridor has emerged in recent years as a burgeoning hub of business, tech, and real estate development. Join BisnowMay 29 at the Loews Annapolis Hotel to hear Greenberg Gibbons president Tom Fitzpatrick, Bozzuto Homes president Tom Baum, St. John Properties' Rick Williamson, Howard Hughes' John DeWolf, and others talk about the thriving industrial market and residential and office demand. Sign up here!