Daily Briefing


July 21, 2009

Anne Arundel office construction begins

Corporate Office Properties Trust began construction Monday of a $36 million, five-story, 150,000-square-foot office building at the National Business Park in Anne Arundel County, even though it has no tenants signed up. Randall M. Griffin, president and chief executive officer of COPT, said the company doesn't usually begin construction on a large office building before it is substantially preleased, but it did so in this case because it knows that the federal military base realignment and closure process known as BRAC will draw defense contractors and others to the Fort Meade area and "we want to be ready for them." The project, called 308 Sentinel Avenue, is one of the first large office buildings to begin construction in central Maryland this year. When it opens in the third quarter of 2010, it will bring to more than 5 million square feet the amount of office space in the 400-acre business park, which is near the intersection of the Baltimore-Washington Parkway and Route 32, near Fort Meade. George Vaeth & Associates is the architect.

- Ed Gunts

Venture capitalists cut Q2 investments in half

SAN FRANCISCO - Venture capitalists cut their U.S. investments in half during the spring, the second-consecutive quarter to mark a more than 50 percent decline, leaving the money flowing to startups at the slowest trickle in 12 years. Nearly $3.7 billion poured into 612 venture-capital deals in the three months ending in June, according to statistics released Tuesday by PricewaterhouseCoopers, Thomson Reuters and the National Venture Capital Association. The dollars invested represented a 51 percent drop from more than $7.5 billion during the same period last year. The erosion followed the first quarter's year-over-year decline of 58 percent to $3.2 billion. It's the first time U.S. venture capitalists have invested less than $7 billion during the first half of a year since they anted up $6.5 billion from January through June in 1997.

- Associated Press

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