Friday, Nov. 30, 2007

JBS International moving headquarters to Rockville

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Brian Lewis⁄The Gazette
Frederick County Bank, replacing the branch that was destroyed by the fire at Antietam Village Shopping Center in February, has opened its new Antietam Branch Office at 198 Thomas Johnson Drive in Frederick. Charlene Collins is manager of the 3,200-square-foot branch, which has eight employees. It is FCB’s fourth branch in the county, according to President Marty Lapera, and was built by R.F. Toft Construction Co. of Frederick.
JBS International Inc., a Silver Spring management and information technology consultant, is moving its headquarters to Rockville, a sign that the market is looking more attractive to firms that find they can’t find room to grow in areas closer to Washington, D.C.

The firm has signed a lease for 50,779 square feet at Rockwall II, a 184,555-square-foot class A office building across the street from White Flint Mall, directly off Rockville Pike, according to Transwestern’s mid-Atlantic office, which handled both sides of the deal.

‘‘It’s a function of availability over there [in Silver Spring],” said Phil McCarthy, who represented the landlord, The JBG Cos. of Silver Spring and The Blackstone Group of New York.

He said that JBS, which has 300 employees, couldn’t find adequate space to stay in Silver Spring.

‘‘I haven’t seen this before,” McCarthy said. ‘‘You’re a tenant in Silver Spring because Metro access is important and amenities are important and values is important. But you need to grow, so you say, ‘Where next?’

‘‘Bethesda? Well, that’s not a value play. So you look at Rockville and North Bethesda.”

Silver Spring has a 4.4 percent direct vacancy rate, which makes expansion there a problem for anyone, according to a Montgomery County Department of Economic Development third-quarter report released earlier this month. The rate was 3.5 percent in Bethesda and Chevy Chase.

The Rockville-North Bethesda area is showing a resurgence that will only grow as in-fill development proceeds and more amenities are added, McCarthy said.

Rockwall II, at 5515 Security Lane, has benefited, bouncing back from early 2005, when the building had a 95,000-square-foot void after the Food and Drug Administration gave up most of its space as part of its consolidation. With the JBS lease and Whole Foods Market Group taking 33,816 square feet, the building is now about 90 percent leased, McCarthy said.

$107M financing completed for Redland Center project

Perseus Realty of Washington has completed a $107 million financing package for its Redland Corporate Center project in Rockville, where the company broke ground last month.

Perseus Realty Capital secured an $82.5 million construction loan for the acquisition and development of Redland Corporate Center Phase II and III on Gaither Road. When completed, the two buildings will total about 350,000 square feet.

Perseus, which is developing the 12.6-acre property with Prudential Real Estate Investors, previously arranged $24.5 million in joint venture equity and a $10.4 million land loan for the complex. Also included in the development plan is a six-level, above-grade parking garage to have 1,115 spaces with an additional 75 surface spaces. Phase I of Redland Corporate Center is fully leased to the National Institutes of Health.

CSG Property Trust plans Hanover building

The CSG Property Trust, based in White Marsh, is planning a $25.5 million office building in Hanover near Arundel Mills mall.

The firm has acquired a 9.2 acre parcel on New Ridge Road just east of the Baltimore-Washington Parkway called the Ridge Road Corporate Center, which is zoned for office development. The project — a joint venture between CSG Partners and Prudential Real Estate Investors — will add a four-story, Class A building totaling about 110,000 square feet. Jones Lang Lasalle acted as the financing agent and arranged the project’s acquisition financing.

‘‘Ridge Road Corporate Center’s phenomenal location benefits from its close proximity to BWI Airport, Route 100, I-295, I-95, Fort Meade and the National Security Agency,” said Alan C. Grabush, principal and director of marketing and acquisitions for CSG Partners LLC.

‘‘In addition to our state-of-the-art complex, we believe that the numerous amenities that exist within one-half mile of the site will make this location attractive for tenants looking to locate in the BWI⁄Route 100 Corridor, whether or not their space requirements are a direct result of the Base Realignment and Closure Act.”

Construction is expected to commence in the second quarter of 2008.

Temple Hills shopping centersells for $11.05 million

Transwestern’s Asset Investment Sales Group in Bethesda also represented Woodberry Square Center LLC in the sale of Woodberry Square Shopping Center, a 53,110-square-foot neighborhood shopping center in Temple Hills. BAE Woodberry LLC paid $11.05 million for the property, which is 100 percent leased.

The shopping center, built in 1987, is just outside of the Capital Beltway, at the intersection of Allentown Road and Temple Hill Road in the Branch Avenue Corridor.

Altus Realty buys Linthicum building

Altus Realty Partners of Arlington, Va., has acquired the former Mercantile Bank warehouse building in Linthicum for an undisclosed price and plans to renovate the 131,800-square-foot building as modern office space.

The facility, called the Hammonds Ferry Corporate Center, is the largest office block in Linthicum, according to Joe Ruzecki, senior vice president at CB Richard Ellis in Baltimore, which has been named leasing agent. The sale of the 18-acre property to Altus shows the appeal of the office market in Linthicum, which is about three miles north of BWI Thurgood Marshall International Airport.

“The BWI Corridor is proving to be one of the better submarkets in the region with new commercial tenant activity, new job growth resulting from Base Realignment and Closure and much improved investment fundamentals. said Altus principal Terry Hindermann.

Commercial real estatenews items may be mailed to: Steve Monroe, The Business Gazette, 1200 Quince Orchard Blvd., Gaithersburg, MD 20878; e-mailed to; or faxed to 301-670-7183.