The Matan Cos. has completed the $4.25 million acquisition of a 200-year-old plantation mansion in Frederick, where it started construction last month on a 13-building garden apartment complex.
The 376-unit project is one of the first investments the firm plans as it announced this week that it closed its latest real estate fund, Matan Fund IV, with total equity raised exceeding $100 million. The fund will invest in the office, residential and industrial sectors in the Washington, D.C., area.
“The success of our fundraising efforts puts us in a strong position to capitalize on existing voids in the DC suburbs,” Mark Matan, principal for the Matan Cos., said in a press release. “We are focusing on opportunities and strategic partnerships rather than any specific product type.”
The Matan Fund IV purchased the interests of its partner, Federal Capital Partners, in the 332,000-square-foot National Cancer Institute’s Advanced Technology Research Facility in Frederick. The fund has several deals under contract, with closings pending for late 2013.
The 31.7-acre apartment project under construction — The Residences at Prospect Hall — is named for a historic home that was built starting in the 1780s on Frederick’s highest elevation. Since 1958, the building has served as the St. John’s Catholic Prep School.
In between, the home and its grounds were occupied by rebel troops during the Civil War, before the Union Army of the Potomac seized control. The mansion and the rest of Frederick were spared destruction when the city paid Confederate Gen. Jubal Early a $200,000 ransom demand. Union Gen. George Meade took command of the Union army at Prospect Hall in 1863, a few days before defeating Robert E. Lee at Gettysburg.
The mansion will be preserved under an easement through the Maryland Historical Trust. Its sale financed St. John’s move in January to its new Buckeystown campus.
Matan expects to complete the apartment complex early next summer. The project includes 56 loft units, garage parking for 492 cars, a 5,000-square-foot clubhouse and a pool.
MRP Realty and Rockpoint Group, which bought the Air Rights Center for $205 million in January, renamed the office complex Bethesda Crossing and announced plans to upgrade the downtown property.
“The new brand for Bethesda Crossing better complements the numerous property upgrades that MRP Realty and Rockpoint are undertaking to make Bethesda Crossing once again the premier office destination in the Bethesda [central business district],” Zach Wade, an MRP principal, said in a press release. “The capital improvements at Bethesda Crossing serve to further strengthen a property that is already 88 percent occupied, providing our current and future tenants an excellent location in which to conduct business.”
The buildings are now called Montgomery Tower at Bethesda Crossing for the North Tower at 4550 Montgomery Ave. and Wisconsin Towers at Bethesda Crossing for the East and West Towers at 7315 Wisconsin Ave.
The developer also has begun with several capital projects to upgrade the 715,000-square-foot property, which is connected to the Hilton Garden Inn and is one block from the Bethesda Metro station.
Plans call for a new, approximately 4,000-square-foot fitness center; renovations of the main lobbies, restrooms and common areas; energy-efficient lighting; and a rehabilitation of the central parking garage.
Mechanical upgrades include a new cooling tower in the Wisconsin Towers, HVAC control upgrades in the west building of the Wisconsin Towers and a replacement of the boiler and cooling systems for the Montgomery Towers.
The new owners will seek silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council for the Wisconsin Towers and gold certification for the Montgomery Tower.
The complex sits in the path of the proposed Purple Line, which will run under the property on its route connecting Bethesda and New Carrollton.
Bethesda-based Washington Property Co. announced that it obtained a $75 million permanent loan for its 295-unit Solaire-Metro apartments in downtown Silver Spring.
ING Investment Management LLC provided the 20-year loan for the property at 1150 Ripley St., which is 95 percent leased. Walker & Dunlop and Sage Capital represented WPC in the transaction.
The building is the first major construction project in almost 20 years to take place within the Ripley District, a triangular parcel south of the Metro station between Bonifant Street, Georgia Avenue and the CSX Railroad. The area was home to a collection of auto shops and warehouses before developers began snapping up properties to build high-rise residential projects, as encouraged by new zoning.
“We look forward to working with Montgomery County to continue our investment in the successful revitalization of the Ripley District, which could eventually be home to up to 3,000 people with over two million square feet of development,” Charles K. Nulsen III, Washington Property’s president, said in a press release.
The firm plans to develop two other properties in the Ripley district. It bought three contiguous parcels from Bethel World Outreach Ministries, where possible uses including hotel, office and/or residential development.
The county also picked WPC to redevelop the Shepherd’s Table/Progress Place property south of Solaire-Metro, where plans call for expanded services to Silver Spring’s low-income and homeless population and a second Solaire-Metro residential tower that will include about 380 luxury apartments.
North of Solaire-Metro, Home Properties is nearing completion of Eleven55 Ripley, with 379 rental apartments in a 21-story tower and a smaller building.
The National Institutes of Health Federal Credit Union has hired Rockville-based Scheer Partners to find it a new 20,000-square-foot headquarters location, which is slated to occur in the spring of 2014.
The credit union — currently at 111 Rockville Pike in Rockville — wants to follow customers who have moved north as part of a consolidation of NIH office space in recent years.
“Their goal is to relocate closer to the health science and medical hub found on Research Boulevard and Shady Grove Road,” Scheer Senior Vice President Matt Brady said in a news release. “They are committed to expanding their business relationships and enhancing services to their customers, and they believe that they can achieve greater operational efficiencies in a newly designed facility along the Interstate 270 biomedical corridor.”
He added that the credit union is seeking a branch location on the first floor of the new headquarters, but that is not critical to signing a lease.
The credit union has been Maryland’s largest federal credit union for more than 70 years and is the nation’s largest serving the biomedical and health care industries.