Real Estate Investment Trusts (aka REITs) were the big money players in the Frederick market during a brisk second quarter.
It’s been a long time since the MacRo office saw a spring real estate market as hot as 2013. By the time summer arrived, we had done a 180 from wondering if the commercial real estate market in Frederick would EVER start moving again to worrying about replenishing our fast-disappearing inventory of listings.
Turns out, it wasn’t just us.
During the 1st quarter of 2013, $16 million worth of commercial properties were sold in Frederick County; during the 2nd quarter, that number jumped to nearly $120 million. In addition, the number of sales transactions in Frederick increased by over 30% from the 1st quarter to the 2nd quarter of 2013. Commercial properties in every segment are moving again, but activity seemed especially heavy in retail properties during the 2nd quarter.
$44 million alone came from the of Crystal Park Apartments; when you back that deal out of the mix, REIT portfolio sales were a primary driver of dollar volume of commercial deals in Frederick during the past quarter. REITs are investing again, everywhere in the U.S., as capital begins to loosen up and the economy continues to exhibit a sustained, if slow, recovery rate.
Following are the top five commercial real estate sales deals, ranked by dollar value, for the 2nd quarter of 2013.
TOP 5 COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE SALES IN FREDERICK DURING SECOND QUARTER 2013
1) $44,900,000 Crystal Park Apartments – 100 Alessandra Ct
Federal Capital Partners flipped this 314 unit apartment community in April for a profit of over $15 million ($157.50/SF).
2) $37,820,100 Wedgewood Business Park – 6900 English Muffin Way and 4612 Navistar Drive; McKinney Industrial Park – 4451 Georgia Pacific Blvd
First Potomac Realty Trust sold a portfolio of 23 industrial properties worth $242 million to Blackstone Real Estate Partners. The three properties listed above were included in that portfolio.
4612 Navistar Drive, a vacant light manufacturing building 209,369 SF in size, sold for $15,533,300 ($74.10/SF). 6900 English Muffin Way, a 165,690 SF warehouse, sold for $10,998,300 ($66.38/SF). 4451 Georgia Pacific Blvd, a 169,592 SF warehouse, sold for $11,288,500 ($66.56/SF).
First Potomac intends to reinvest the proceeds of this sale into high-quality LEED certified office properties in the Washington, D.C. area. They are pursuing a niche market of Class A energy-efficient office properties.
3) $7,900,000 Westview Corner Shopping Center – 5213 Presidents Court
Fountain Square Properties of Virginia sold Westview Corner Shopping Center to a private investor in a package deal that included the adjacent Columbia Bank branch (total of 25,000 SF) to JCR Companies of Alexandria, VA in April ($316.00/SF). Tenants at Westview Corner include Jimmy Johns, Baltimore Tea & Coffee, and Fed Ex.
4) $4,331,250 Ballenger Creek Plaza – 5824 Ballenger Creek Pike
LNR Property Corp. of Miami Beach, FL flipped this shopping center in May to C&K Properties of New York, NY after acquiring it at a foreclosure sale last September for $4.7 million. The property is 75,914 SF ($57.05/SF).
5) $2,800,000 Golden Mile Exxon – 1380 W. Patrick Street
Southside Oil LLC of Florida sold this property to National Retail Properties in April. The service station is 1,855 SF ($1,509.43/SF).
So here we are, on the other side of the election and sequestration, and it appears—maybe—we hope—that Frederick’s commercial real estate market is out of the doldrums and cruising at a reasonable speed.
Will we ever see the likes of 2007 again? Very doubtful—but that’s okay. If this past quarter is an indicator of the market going forward, it’s a “new normal” we can live with.
The authors: Rocky Mackintosh is President of MacRo, Ltd., a Land and Commercial Real Estate firm based in Frederick, Maryland. He also writes for TheTentacle.com. Kathy Krach is a commercial sales and leasing agent with MacRo.