The First Maryland Building, a 22-story office tower at 25 S. Charles St., has changed hands and is now in the control of a Dallas-based investment company called the Hallwood Group.
Eric Forshee, senior property manager for a Hallwood subsidiary, Hallwood Management Co., said that his firm took over management of the 19-year-old building June 1. That change came eight months after another Hallwood subsidiary, Hallwood Realty Partners, became the general partner of the group that owns the building, First Associates Limited Partnership.
Mr. Forshee said that Hallwood Realty took control of the building by buying the general partnership of First Associates from Equitec Financial Group of Oakland, Calif., a group that filed for bankruptcy court protection last year.
The First Maryland Building was part of a portfolio of 42 buildings around the country that Equitec controlled. Hallwood, a diversified investment company, acquired the general partnerships for all of them within the past year, Mr. Forshee said. It had no controlling interest in real estate before that, he added.
The cost of buying the general partnership was about $6 million to $7 million, and the cost of buying the management contract from Equitec Properties was between $1 million and $2 million, Mr. Forshee said.
Mr. Forshee said that the 16 employees on Equitec's building management and maintenance staff became Hallwood employees as a result of the recent transaction. The change will not affect tenants of the building, which is 92 percent leased, he said. "It won't affect the tenants at all. Our policies are pretty much the way they were last week."
Developer David Kornblatt was the original general partner of First Associates. He sold his interest in the building in 1984. The building recently received a $1.2 million face lift.