Daily Briefing


December 16, 2009

Prince George's Co. site of hhgregg distribution center

An Indianapolis-based appliance and electronics retailer plans to open a 300,000-square-foot distribution center in Prince George's County with help from the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development. The company, hhgregg, plans to open 40 to 45 stores in the Mid-Atlantic region in the 2011 fiscal year, and the distribution center is expected to create 100 new jobs when it opens in Brandywine, according to DBED. The company has stores across the southeastern United States. DBED offered the company an $80,000 conditional loan to assist with improvement costs to the facility, and the company is eligible for state job-creation tax credits. Prince George's County also offered the company a $50,000 conditional loan.

- Gus G. Sentementes

Charles Village 'Copy Cat' building sold at auction

A Charles Village landmark, the "Copy Cat" building at 2443 N. Charles St., was sold at auction Tuesday to a father-and-son development team, Carl and Steven Verstandig. Their bid at the auction, handled by Alex Cooper Auctioneers, was $365,000 plus a 5 percent buyer's premium that brought the total price to $383,250. The Verstandigs, who have a company called CityWide Properties, said they plan to restore the exterior and renovate the interior. They said possible commercial tenants include a restaurant and a barber shop. The prominent building, marked by a corner turret, dates from the late 1800s and for many years housed a branch of the Thomas and Thompson pharmacy business. It is several blocks east of the Anderson Automotive parcel, where a $65 million retail and housing development is planned.

- Edward Gunts

Group ordered to pay $987,030 in scam case

Baltimore City Circuit Judge Pamela J. White has ordered a group of defendants to pay nearly $990,000 in restitution and penalties for scamming homeowners trying to avoid foreclosure, the Maryland attorney general's office said Tuesday. Rodney Spellen of Mid Atlantic Consulting Inc., Jemel Lyles of Absoloot Ventures Inc., Brian Boyd of 1st Choice Property Management Firm Inc., Phillip George of Certified Title & Escrow Inc. and several others were ordered to pay back the $757,030 they stripped from 10 homes, plus $230,000 in penalties, the state said.

- Jamie Smith Hopkins

Dreamliner gets test flight near Seattle

For the first time, a passenger jetliner with a body and wings made of super-hardened plastics took wing Tuesday, a milestone that promises to usher in a new era in aviation. A crowd of 12,000 workers and dignitaries lining Paine Field in Everett, Wash., watched as the Boeing 787 Dreamliner roared down the runway, lifted its nose into the air and then flew north as two chase planes trailed. The plane circled over the Puget Sound for three hours, as 787 chief pilot Michael Carriker and co-pilot Randy Neville tested the 787's state-of-the-art wing and electronics systems in a series of turns, climbs and descents. Production problems had delayed the maiden voyage by more than two years. The mid-sized 787 is designed to fly as far as Boeing 727 jumbos while consuming about 20 percent less fuel, enabling carriers to economically link smaller cities.

- Chicago Tribune

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