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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







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