Meadows Business Park is sold

December 09, 2006|By Lorraine Mirabella | Lorraine Mirabella,Sun reporter

A Vienna, Va., real estate developer has bought the Meadows Business Park, one of Baltimore County's oldest and largest commercial parks, for an undisclosed price.

The developer plans to spruce up the park and fill the mixed-use center over the next year.

Atlantic Realty Cos. Inc. said yesterday that it bought the nearly 1 million-square-foot center at Interstate 70 and I-695 in Woodlawn with partner Colony Realty Partners. The seller was Emmes Realty Services LLC of New York.

The business park, which dates from 1963, contains 21 buildings of office, warehouse and retail space and is 80 percent leased, Atlantic Realty said.

The business park is adjacent to the Social Security Administration's headquarters complex, with about a third of its space occupied by federal government tenants. The park also includes a 207,000-square-foot shopping center that is anchored by a supermarket.

"With proper attention to these assets, there is good room for improvement, and better room to get it leased up or even sold as office condos," said Adam B. Schulman, a partner with Atlantic Realty.

He said most of the retail space and most of the government-occupied space is leased, with the greatest vacancies in some of the warehouse and flex and smaller office buildings.

"Traditionally, it has been a pretty good market," said Jeff Bach, a vice president with CB Richard Ellis in Baltimore. "It isn't the highest price point in Baltimore, but it's a great cost alternative for emerging companies or government contractor companies. So, traditionally it's been pretty stable."

The Woodlawn sector of the Baltimore County office market had average third-quarter vacancy rates of 16.2 percent for flex office space; 9.2 percent for industrial space and 7.5 percent for office space, according to CB Richard Ellis, the commercial real estate giant.

Meadows Business Park's new owners plan to make cosmetic improvements and market the empty space to a wide range of users, from government agencies to professionals.

"The new owners bring a lot to the table, in that they're going to spend some money and upgrade the buildings and draw some better-quality tenants," Bach said. "It's a good asset."

Atlantic Realty is one of the largest commercial real estate developers in metropolitan Washington. Colony Realty, a Boston company, is an affiliate of Colony Capital LLC, a private international investment firm.

lorraine.mirabella@baltsun.com

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