BG&E subsidiary puts shopping centers on market KMS Group seeking some $52 million

November 20, 1991|By Edward Gunts Michael J. Clark of The Sun's Howard County Bureau contributed to this report.

The KMS Group, a wholly owned real estate subsidiary of Baltimore Gas and Electric Co., is seeking to raise more than $52 million through the sale of three retail centers.

According to C. B. Commercial Real Estate Services, the listing agent, KMS is seeking $24.2 million for the 225,000-square-foot Valley Centre mall in Owings Mills; $14.5 million for the 150,000-square-foot Cranberry Square Mall in Westminster; and $13.6 million for the 180,000-square-foot First State Plaza in Wilmington, Del.

Former KMS Chairman Wilbur E. "Pete" Simmons said the sales are unrelated to the Oct. 31 resignations of himself and KMS' former president and chief executive officer, Peter Kirk. Mr. Simmons and Mr. Kirk are partners in Maryland Baseball Limited Partnership, a group that owns the Frederick Keys and Hagerstown Suns minor-league teams, and wanted to devote more time to their baseball interests, Mr. Simmons said.

The decision to sell the retail centers was prompted by a desire on KMS' part to realize profits from the now-complete developments and reinvest those profits, Mr. Simmons said. The shopping centers are the only ones in KMS' portfolio and are

already beginning to attract interest from prospective buyers, according to C. B. Commercial Senior Vice President Gary Dewey.

Mr. Simmons and Mr. Kirk are two of the three original partners of KMS, which was founded in 1977. Seeking to expand its real estate development activities, BG&E, through one of its subsidiaries, acquired a 20 percent interest in the company in 1986 and bought the rest of it in 1988.

Other projects in KMS' portfolio are Piney Orchard, a 1,500-acre planned community in western Anne Arundel County; the National Business Center, a 350-acre business community in western Anne Arundel County; the Centre Park office complex in Columbia; the Offices at the Greens complex in Laurel; and Constellation Center in Prince George's County.

KMS, which has a staff of about 60, also manages real estate owned by a second BG&E subsidiary, Constellation Properties. It includes the Brown's Wharf complex in Fells Point; the Brandon Woods business park in Anne Arundel County, and a downtown site targeted for a 23-story office building at 750 E. Pratt Street.

Dick O'Connell, executive vice president of KMS since 1986, has been named its new president and chief operating officer.

Mr. Simmons, 51, also was president of Constellation Real Estate Group, a BG&E division that is the parent of KMS and several other companies, including Constellation Properties, Constellation Health Services and a group that owns the Church Street Station entertainment complex in Orlando, Fla.

Company officials say that instead of replacing Mr. Simmons in that position they may just have the heads of individual companies report to Constellation Holdings, the parent of Constellation Real Estate Group.

Mr. Simmons said he was leaving KMS "in fine shape. I don't think they'll miss a beat. We wouldn't want them to."

He said he and Mr. Kirk would maintain partial ownership interest in some of the properties they developed with KMS, including Piney Orchard.

He added that he and Mr. Kirk have established another entity, Weskirk Enterprises Ltd., through which they may carry out their own real estate ventures.

Maryland Baseball Limited Partnership has also been trying to bring a Class AAA team to the Bowie area, either through expansion in 1993 or the acquisition of an existing ball team that could be moved.

Mr. Kirk said his group is negotiating with owners of more than one existing AAA team and that he is "cautiously optimistic" about having a team operating in Prince Georges County.

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