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Resmark and Timberlake Homes Constructing Creekstone Village Townhome Community in Anne Arundel County

7 Feb 2014, 3:37 pm

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

A new, single-family townhome community is coming to Anne Arundel County. Resmark Land and Housing, a division of The Los Angeles-based Resmark Companies, and Timberlake Homes announced at the end of January that construction is underway on Creekstone Village in Pasadena. The project is expected to be completed in 36 months.

The community is located at 8029 Jumpers Hole Road, adjacent to routes 100 and 2, and just minutes from downtown Baltimore. It will consist of 89 colonial-style townhomes, each standing three stories tall, with elegant brick exteriors. The townhomes will range from 1,720 to 2,636 square feet. They will feature three bedrooms, two full baths and one half bath, as well as one- or two-car garages.

“Resmark’s investment with Timberlake Homes for the development of Creekstone Village reflects the growing demand for housing in the Baltimore–D.C. area,” stated R. Kent Grahl, president, Resmark Land and Housing. “Timberlake’s depth of experience and strong reputation in the area are the ideal match for the project’s quality location near major employers, Annapolis and the Beltway.”

Community amenities include a clubhouse with business center, resort-style outdoor pool, state-of-the-art fitness center, a children’s play area and dog park. Although close to two major highways, Creekstone Village will be well buffered by heavily treed landscaping. Residents will be close to many shopping and restaurant options as well as major employers. Located just a few miles from Creekstone Village, Fort Meade is expected to provide over 5,000 new jobs in the next few years.

“Creekstone Village is an ideal project for this community, which is undergoing a renaissance in terms of job growth and housing,” said John H. Minzer, president and CEO, Timberlake Homes.  “We are extremely proud and grateful to have provided new homes for thousands of area homebuyers in the course of almost 50 years, and in partnership with Resmark, we’re looking forward to delivering this premier new project for the next generation of home buyers.”

Photos courtesy of Casey & Sayre.

Blue Ocean Realty Buys 720-Unit Millbrook Park Apartments in Pikesville

4 Feb 2014, 2:44 pm

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

Seven hundred twenty apartments; 73 buildings; 40 acres of land. Put them all together and you get the Millbrook Park Apartments in Pikesville. Blue Ocean Realty, one of the largest owner-managed investment companies in the Baltimore metropolitan area, recently purchased this massive complex.

The Millbrook Park Apartments are located at 6808 Milbrook Park Drive. It consists of spacious one-, two- and three-bedroom apartment homes, and offers five different floor plans. The apartments feature fully equipped kitchens, parquet wood flooring, patios, balconies, and much more. Millbrook Park Apartments also includes such amenities as a large swimming pool, soccer field, playground and an onsite shuttle bus service which provides access to local retail centers. On its website, Blue Ocean Realty says apartments in the complex rent between $700 and $1,000 per month.

In an apartment market outlook for the Baltimore area, Marcus & Millichap reports that operations will strengthen in 2014, as the market absorbs last year’s construction surge. This year’s accelerating job growth is expected to boost net absorption of apartments across the metro, with Baltimore’s growing 20- to 34-year-old population further supporting demand. Residents in this age range are generally considered the prime renter demographic. Their numbers within the Greater Baltimore area have increased over the past five years, growing at double the pace of the national average.

Marcus & Millichap predicts that demand will outpace construction, pushing vacancy to 4.5 percent by the end of the year. Rents are also expected to advance 3.1 percent in 2014, to $1,229 per month.

Blue Ocean Realty announced the acquisition of the Millbrook Park Apartments on its facebook page, on January 24, but did not disclose the price of the transaction. To date, the 720-unit property is the largest community to join the company’s portfolio. In recent months, several Baltimore area multifamily properties with hundreds of units have changed hands. Read about all of these transactions here and here.

Photo credits: Blue Ocean Realty
Charts courtesy of Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services.

Joint Venture to Convert Vacant Baltimore Warehouse into Luxury Historic Lofts

24 Jan 2014, 6:58 pm

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

The Raffel Building, a historic building currently sitting vacant in one of Baltimore’s most desirable neighborhoods, is on its way to becoming upscale apartments. Two local companies, Poverni Ventures LLC and Management Restoration Services LLC, have formed a joint venture to redevelop the abandoned warehouse at 111 W. Heath Street and turn it into the Heath Street Lofts.

The Raffel Building consists of two interconnected buildings. It was constructed at the start of the 20th century, at the intersection of Heath and Clarkson Street, in Federal Hill. Once, the warehouse complex was home to the J.M. Raffel Co., a cardboard box manufacturer. Now, it just sits vacant. In recent years, the Raffel Building attracted interest from many developers.

“This building has a rich history of development that never materialized, and it is finally time to put it back to serve the South Baltimore community,” said Eugene Poverni, principal and founder of Poverni Ventures, in a press statement.

Poverni Ventures LLC is a real estate development company, while Management Restoration Services LLC is a property management company. The two acquired the 70,000-square-foot historic building last month, for $1.05 million. They plan to convert it into a luxury 60-unit apartment community for young professionals, students, or frequent commuters to Washington, D.C. via Interstate-95.

The new Heath Street Lofts will include such Class A amenities as an on-site parking, gym, leasable storage units, a 24-hour front desk, and an oversized rooftop deck and event space with panoramic views of the city. The Urban Design Group is the project’s architect and is designing the new community to achieve LEED Silver certification.

“Revitalizing this great industrial building will provide unique, modern, and luxurious housing for our residents while maintaining its historic charm,” Ibrahim Sheikh, principal of Management Restoration Services, said. The developers plan to start construction this spring. The project is expected to be completed in late 2015.

Photo credits: Urban Design Group

JBG, Klein Enterprises Unveil State-of-the-Art Social Security Administration Complex at 6100 Wabash Avenue

17 Jan 2014, 3:29 pm

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

The JBG Companies and Klein Enterprises have unveiled 6100 Wabash Avenue, a state-of-the-art, twin-building facility for the Social Security Administration. Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Congressman Elijah Cummings were among the officials and community leaders present at the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The new Social Security Administration complex is located on 11 acres in northwest Baltimore, directly opposite the Reisterstown Metro Station. It offers 538,000 square feet in two office buildings, five and seven stories tall. Amenities include an adjacent, 1,076-car, above-ground parking garage and child care center. The facility was designed to achieve LEED Silver certification. It features an array of environmentally friendly elements such as a green roof and a large park area.

Work on the project started in January 2012. JBG owns the property in partnership with Klein Enterprises. It was designed by AECOM, with Clark Construction as the general contractor.

GSA has leased this facility for a 20-year term. It will be home to up to 2,300 employees of the Social Security Administration and will replace the agency’s Metro West facility.

“The opening of 6100 Wabash represents not just a fresh start for the Social Security Administration, but a catalyst for future development and job creation in the area,” Congressman Elijah Cummings said in a press statement.

“With its proximity to Reisterstown Metro, this new facility demonstrates the importance of expanding transit-oriented development in Baltimore,” Mayor Rawlings-Blake added. “When federal, state and local agencies embrace transit-oriented development, such projects directly improve the lives of thousands of Baltimore commuters.”

As part of Maryland’s transit-oriented development (TOD) strategy, the new facility’s location near public transport is expected to attract new development, to build on the value of existing businesses and residential neighborhoods, and, in the end, to transform the surrounding area. The goal is to create a vibrant community where residents want to live, work and play.

“We are proud to begin 2014 by providing GSA and the Social Security Administration a transit-oriented, environmentally sound workplace fit for the 21st century,” said Rod Lawrence, a partner with The JBG Companies. “JBG’s strategy is to concentrate new, sustainable development close to Metro and other transit options. It has been a pleasure to work with the City of Baltimore to develop this new state-of-the-art facility.”

Photo credits: AECOM

Transwestern Hired to Sell Two Apartment Communities in Anne Arundel County

10 Jan 2014, 5:26 pm

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

Two apartment communities in Anne Arundel County are now on the market. Together, they offer over 450 units. Transwestern’s Bethesda, Md.-based Mid-Atlantic Multifamily Group  has been named exclusive agent for the sale of both properties.

Shelter Cove is the largest of the two properties, with 300 one-, two-, and three-bedroom units. Community amenities include assigned parking, swimming pool, playground, 24-hour fitness center, clubhouse and more. Another important feature is the community’s location, at 537 Tranquil Court, in Odenton. Positioned right in the heart of the Baltimore-Washington, D.C. Corridor, Shelter Cove offers easy access to some of the largest employment drivers in the region: the Arundel Mills Mall, Maryland Live! Casino, the BWI Airport, and Fort Meade, the largest employer in the State of Maryland with more than 56,000 workers and home to the National Security Agency and the US Cyber Command.

Shelter Cove was constructed in 1974 and was renovated in 2013. According to Transwestern, as of December 2013, 96-units have been or are in the process of being renovated, with an additional four units scheduled to be renovated this month. These units are being awarded a premium of $200 to $250 per month which provides investors the opportunity to complete the remaining units and increase rental revenue by approximately $500,000 per year.

The average rent at Shelter Cove is $1,338 per month. According to the 2013 Third Quarter Apartment Report, published by Transwestern’s research affiliate, Delta Associates, the average effective rent in Northern Anne Arundel County is $1,638 per month. Vacancy is at 2.7 percent.

Forest Hills, the second property, is located at 4 Bricin Court, just minutes from downtown Annapolis. The apartment community was constructed in 1965 and renovated in 2008. It consists of 153 one- ,two- , and three-bedroom units. Community amenities include a swimming pool with sundeck, picnic area, beautifully landscaped grounds and more. The property enjoys an excellent location, along the Forest Drive Corridor, and is close to the two largest employers in Annapolis, the U.S. Naval Academy and the Maryland State House.

Transwestern reports that, as of December 16, 2013, Forest Hills was 97.4 percent occupied, with an average rent of $1,363 per month. In Annapolis, the average rent is approximately $1,800 per month.

Photo credits: Transwestern

L3C Capital Partners Selects Village Green to Manage The Munsey in Downtown Baltimore

26 Dec 2013, 7:42 pm

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

Baltimore’s Munsey Building was recently acquired by L3C Capital Partners LLC. According to The Baltimore Business Journal, the New York-based investment company paid $18.35 million for the building. Now, the new owner has selected Village Green, a Detroit-based apartment manager and owner, to manage the historic community.

The Munsey Building has been present in the heart of downtown Baltimore since 1912. Over the  years, the building housed the Baltimore News, Baltimore’s first radio station and later the Equitable Trust Company. It is located at 7 North Calvert Street, close to the Inner Harbor and various other entertainment, culture, dining and shopping destinations, as well as the headquarters of many large companies.

In 2002, the 18-story building was transformed into a 146-apartment multifamily community. Now, the Munsey offers studio, one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments, ranging in size from 668 square feet to 1,705 square feet. Rents are between $1,390 and $1,920 per month. Units feature 12’ ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows, high-end finishes, and spacious floor plans. Community amenities include a 24-hour professional fitness center, clubroom with lounge, gourmet kitchen, dry cleaning services and valet parking.

“We are thrilled with our acquisition of The Munsey, a grand and historic building in a premiere Baltimore location,” Jonathan Leifer, principal, L3C Capital Partners, said in a press statement. The new owners plan to renovate the apartments and amenity spaces in the coming months.

“We’re thrilled to have been entrusted with the management and oversight of this extraordinary asset, which represents our continuing partnership with L3C Capital Partners,” Diane Batayeh, COO of Village Green, added. “The Munsey is located in a growing and dynamic market, and we know Baltimore is a fantastic place to live, work and play.”

Photo credit: Village Green

T. Rowe Price Renews Lease at 100 East Pratt Street, Keeps 1,300 Jobs in Downtown Baltimore

20 Dec 2013, 7:45 pm

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

Good news for downtown Baltimore. After several months of uncertainty, T. Rowe Price Group, Inc. announced it has renewed its lease at 100 East Pratt Street and that it won’t be moving its headquarters to a different location. This means the company’s nearly 1,300 employees will be staying put.

T. Rowe Price Group has had its headquarters at 100 East Pratt Street since 1975. But this April, the company announced it was considering moving its operations to Owings Mills or to another Baltimore site such as Harbor Point. In the end, it decided to remain at its current location. In a news release, T. Rowe Price said the decision to stay put was based on several factors such as the building’s ability to continue meeting the company’s needs, the proximity to downtown amenities, traffic and commuting patterns of associates who work downtown, as well as the easy access to Penn Station and Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.

The company occupies 427,000 square feet at 100 East Pratt Street, including office space and the T. Rowe Price Investor Center on the northeast corner of Calvert and Lombard streets. The current lease with property owner Columbia Property Trust expires on June 30, 2017. The renewal means T. Rowe Price could remain in downtown Baltimore until 2027.

”Signing this letter of intent signals our ongoing commitment to downtown and the City of Baltimore, which has been our home since our founding in 1937,” said James A.C. Kennedy, chief executive officer and president of T. Rowe Price, in a press statement. “We’re proud of our city, and on behalf of our associates we’re pleased to be able to continue our presence here for years to come.”

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said, “We are thrilled that T. Rowe Price plans to keep its global headquarters in the City of Baltimore.” And, according to Kirby Fowler, president of the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore, “the commitment of T. Rowe Price to maintain their corporate headquarters in downtown Baltimore will have a ripple effect throughout our community. Downtown is home to the region’s best and brightest, and T. Rowe Price’s decision to remain here sends a powerful message in that regard and ensures that we can continue to prosper from the jobs they create and support.”

The renewal keeps 427,000 square feet of office space from being added to a market with an overall vacancy of 16.5 percent. According to CBRE, renewal activity increased in Q3 2013 in Baltimore’s CBD. The real estate services firm sees the Pratt Street Corridor as one of the more robust areas in downtown Baltimore for tenants who can’t relocate to Harbor East but want to remain in the city.

Photo credits: Google Maps.
Charts courtesy of CBRE.

Joint Venture Acquires Baltimore Area 500-Unit Multifamily Portfolio

13 Dec 2013, 4:51 pm

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

Two weeks ago I wrote about two Howard County communities, totaling 348 units, which traded for almost $68 million. Now, two more garden-style apartment communities and a high-rise apartment building in the Greater Baltimore area are welcoming new owners.

The three properties are part of the Windsor Mill Portfolio. With a total of 500 units, the portfolio was acquired by Morgan Properties, based in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, and its equity partner Core Properties, of Columbus, Ohio. Jones Lang LaSalle represented the seller. The price of the transaction was not disclosed.

The Windsor Mill Portfolio consists of townhomes, garden-style apartments and a high-rise residential building. The three properties are all located within a one-mile radius, just outside the Baltimore Beltway, in Windsor Mill. The two apartment communities were built in 1965 and 1972, while the apartment building was constructed in 1969. They offer easy access to highways and include such amenities as swimming pools and picnic areas. The spacious apartments feature walk-in closets, individually controlled HVAC units, and in-unit washers and dryers.

Mitchell Morgan, founder and CEO of Morgan Properties, said in a press release that “Windsor Mill is an exciting acquisition for our company. After the recent success of our acquisition and repositioning of Northwest Crossing with our partner Core Properties, we and Core felt that Windsor Mill was the perfect opportunity to continue to expand our market presence. Given our local market knowledge and operational expertise, Morgan Properties is the right operator to efficiently manage and enhance the value of the properties.”

The two companies plan to invest and upgrade the newly acquired properties. The Windsor Mill Portfolio is the joint venture’s second acquisition. Last year, it purchased Northwest Crossing, a 588-unit garden-style apartment community located in Randallstown, not too far from the Windsor Mill Portfolio. In May, Morgan Properties announced plans to implement a $10 million capital improvement program to reinvigorate Northwest Crossing.


Photo credits: Morgan Properties

InterPark Completes the Purchase of 300 E. Pratt, Starts Hunt for Development Partner for the Site

9 Dec 2013, 4:08 pm

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

InterPark, LLC, the largest owner, operator and developer of parking facilities in North America, has completed its purchase of 300 E. Pratt in Baltimore’s Central Business District. The Chicago–based company plans to develop the site, considered the best remaining developable parcel of open land in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, into a mixed-use project and has hired Cushman & Wakefield to identify a development partner.

The sale was announced in August. InterPark acquired the property from UrbanAmerica Advisors, LLC for an undisclosed price. The Inner Harbor has been the site of extensive redevelopment in recent years and 300 E. Pratt Street has been designated as part of an Enterprise Zone with probable tax credits and incentives for developers. InterPark has hired St. Louis-based Forum Studio to complete several design concepts for the site. The future of 300 E. Pratt could include a hotel, residences, offices, shops or parking, all in a great location, close to government offices, businesses and tourist attractions. The site could also be the home of a landmark property that could enhance existing development in the area.

“The 300 E. Pratt site provides an incredible opportunity for the right development partner to create a signature mixed use facility in one of Baltimore’s most prominent locations,” said J. Marshall Peck, president of InterPark, in a press statement. “With Cushman & Wakefield’s extensive knowledge of the Baltimore real estate market, we’ve assembled an impressive team to select the right development partner to transform the site into a premier property fitting of Baltimore’s terrific waterfront.”

InterPark has successfully developed parking with mixed-use facilities in central business districts all over the United States. Some of its notable projects include the mixed use building at Ontario Street & St. Clair Street, and an innovative development deal at 217 W. Washington Street, both in Chicago, as well as the development of an integrated parking garage on the Thomas Jefferson Hospital campus in Philadelphia.

Photo credits: Cushman & Wakefield 

Two Howard County Apartment Communities Sold for $68M

2 Dec 2013, 7:23 pm

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

Two apartment communities in Howard County have recently changed hands, with an aggregate sales price of about $68 million. Together, Elkridge’s Belmont Station and Laurel’s Ashbury Court Apartments offer 348 units.

Los Angeles-based JRK Investors, Inc. paid $44.1 million for Belmont Station, a Class A garden apartment community located at 6900 Tasker Falls  in Elkridge. The property was constructed in 2008 and offers 208 units. Amenities include a 6,500-square-foot clubhouse, pool, and fitness center. Belmont Station is located close to Fort Meade, the BWI Airport, with easy access to both Washington, D.C. and Baltimore. Bethesda-based First Capital Realty, the brokerage firm which handled the deal, says on its website that, since 2010, the property has had an average occupancy of 97 percent.

First Capital Realty’s Jeff Fabrikant represented the seller, while Jeff Coles, also of First Capital Realty, represented JRK Investors. The Los Angeles-based investment group plans to renovate the common areas and upgrade the apartments, to make the property more competitive. Belmont Station isn’t JRK’s first acquisition in the Greater Baltimore area. The firm purchased Columbia’s  Avalon at Cedar Place apartments this October. JRK paid $26 million for the 156-unit property.

The Baltimore Business Journal recently reported that Bethesda-based Goldstar Group has paid $23.6 million for the Ashbury Court Apartments. The property is located at 10095 Washington Boulevard North, in the Howard County section of Laurel. It offers 140 high-end units as well as 32,000 square feet of first-floor retail.

MAC Realty Advisors was the exclusive agent and represented the seller, Patriot Realty. The deal also includes an option to build a second phase of residential.

According to a Transwestern Q3 2013 Apartment Market Report for the Washington/Baltimore area, vacancy in Baltimore’s southern submarkets has dropped from 4.9% last year to 4.5%, while in the northern submarkets it went up to 5.3% from 4.3% in 2012. Average effective rents in the area have reached $1,607, a slight 1.5% increase since last year.

Photo credits: MAC Realty Advisors
Charts courtesy of Transwestern

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