Florida developer buys Bethesda shopping center sites for $65 million -- Gazette.Net



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Equity One Inc., based in North Miami Beach, Fla., paid $65 million for the Westwood Shopping Center and neighboring Westwood Center II in Bethesda, according to tax records.

That lines up the final parcels totaling 467,000 square feet of retail, office and multifamily space that the firm said it intended to buy as part of its plan to develop a mixed-use community on the southeast edge of downtown Bethesda.

The sale of the retail strips by New York-based Capital Properties on Jan. 27 follows Equity’s announcement of a $140 million multi-property deal in May, when it bought the Westwood Towers, Springhouse by Manor Care, Bowlmor Lanes and two Citgo gas stations. Equity now has control of a 22-acre mixed-use complex that includes 214,767 square feet of retail space anchored by a Giant grocery, a 211,020-square-foot apartment building and a 62-unit assisted living facility.

The properties are wedged between Westbard Avenue and River Road, in an area that has seen only limited recent growth in commercial space. The Giant has been the anchor since 1959.

Equity held two recent community meetings to assess neighbors’ views on redevelopment and plans further sessions in coming weeks. The firm has set up a website to provide information about meetings and other plans at westbardvision.com.

NIH lease bids could move offices from Montgomery County to Prince George’s

A pair of lease proposals to shrink space occupied by National Institutes of Health was passed by a House of Representatives committee, which could set off a bidding war between Montgomery and Prince George’s counties to find new space for the agency.

That’s because the General Services Administration included a clause including both counties as the search area suitable for consolidated offices for some functions of the NIH. The agency is looking for 539,000 square feet of space, an efficiency move to replace leases in seven buildings totaling 693,908 square feet, under the two lease prospectuses approved Tuesday by a voice vote in the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

The GSA has floated similar consolidated plans for NIH in recent years, but it limited new lease locations to the Bethesda and Rockville markets. But the GSA has made an effort to respond to demands by Prince George’s officials to steer more tenants to the county, which has a much smaller federal presence than Montgomery and competing Virginia localities.

Rep. Donna F. Edwards (D-4), a member of the transportation committee, praised the GSA commitment to considering Prince George’s County.

“While these NIH proposals are a step in the right direction, I will continue to work with GSA to bring quality federal lease opportunities to Prince George’s County to put us on equal footing with other jurisdictions in the metropolitan Washington area,” she said in a statement.

Under one prospectus, the GSA is looking for 345,000 square feet of space to replace one GSA lease and five NIH direct leases at 6701 and 6705 Rockledge Drive in Bethesda, and 6100 Executive Blvd. in Rockville. One of the leases, totaling 443,764 square feet, expired last month. The other expires June 30, 2015.

The second prospectus would save 56,144 square feet of usable space by consolidating from leases in Rockville at 2115 E. Jefferson St. and at 6011, 6100 and 6120 Executive Blvd. The GSA seeks up to 194,000 rentable square feet space for NIH and its director’s office, replacing 250,144 square feet.

Combined, the leases proposals could save as much as $81.3 million over 15 years.

Rockville Loehmann’s leases remain on sale list

The Rockville Loehmann’s store is on the list of 39 locations looking for someone to buy their leases, according to A&G Realty Partners of Melville, N.Y. The company announced it was hired to market the remaining 39 properties left in the bankrupt discount retail chain.

Madison Capital bought the Loehmann’s lease designation rights after the retailer filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last year.

A&G Realty is currently accepting bids to acquire the leases, which range from 15,000 to 60,000 square feet and average 25,000 square feet in key retail locations.

The Rockville store, at 5230 Randolph Road, occupies 22,440, according to a brochure by owner JBGR Retail, based in Chevy Chase. The store is the original anchor in the 118,527-square-foot Loehmann’s Plaza strip mall. But a Safeway grocery now occupies 42,403 square feet in the center.

The Loehmann’s in Timonium, in Baltimore’s northern suburbs, also is on the A&G list.

Cushman & Wakefield handling leasing for King Farm office complex in Rockville

Cushman & Wakefield announced that American Real Estate Partners hired it to serve as the exclusive leasing agent for The King Farm, a 750,521-square foot, class A office building portfolio in Rockville.

The office portfolio includes:

• Four Irvington Centre, 220,000 square feet at 805 King Farm Blvd., completed in 2007.

• Three Irvington Centre, 219,00 square feet at 800 King Farm Blvd., completed in 2002.

• Two Irvington Centre, 153,866 square feet at 702 King Farm Blvd., completed in 2000.

• One Irvington Centre, 155,294 square feet at 700 King Farm Blvd., completed in 1999.

Cushman & Wakefield’s Kevin McGloon, Niel Beggy, Peter Rosan, and Katie Datin will represent King Farm.

The complex, which includes ground-floor retail, has vacant space ranging from 2,500 to 27,000 square feet.

Federal Capital Partners sells Baldensburg apartment complex for $48.6 million

Chevy Chase-based Federal Capital Partners, with partners Angelo, Gordon and Co. and The Donaldson Group, announced the $48.6 million sale of The Phoenix, a three-tower, 447-unit, high rise apartment complex in Bladensburg.

The joint venture paid $24.4 million for the complex in 2007, when it announced plans for a $14 million renovation. The property sits near the intersection of the Baltimore-Washington Parkway and Annapolis Road.