A major renovation gets under way on one of Virginia’s shopping landmarks, and a Maryland real estate investment trust continues its buying spree. This and other real estate news from around the state:
WILLIAMSBURG — Construction has begun on a $20 million renovation of one of the state’s best-known discount shopping venues. The Williamsburg Pottery, in business since 1938, is getting a makeover to become a European-themed, Old-World market. The project will involve more than 30 companies from the area, including Guernsey-Tingle Architects, general contractor Henderson Inc. and AES Consulting Engineers. The pottery will remain open during construction, with the exception of Christmas Day. The renovated 160,000-square-foot retail space is expected to be ready by April 2012, and the pottery expects to hire 100 new workers to staff the expansion.
NORFOLK — Harbor Group International, a real estate investment and management company, continues to build its New York portfolio with the purchase of a third building. The company announced that an affiliate bought a 24-story, 415,135 square-foot office building near Times Square in Midtown Manhattan for $150 million, or $360 per square foot. Harbor Group plans to spend $10 million to improve the building, which was built in 1924 and is 84 percent leased.
CHESAPEAKE — 201 Dexter LLC purchased a 452,000-square-foot industrial property on 20 acres from Chesapeake Hardwood Products for $6 million. 201 Dexter bought the building as an investment and plans to occupy a portion of it. The property is located at 201 W. Dexter St. Thalhimer and S.L. Nusbaum Realty handed sale negotiations on behalf of the company.
HAMPTON — Kamco Building Supply Corp. leased 27,500 square feet of space at a building on Basil Sawyer Drive. Thalhimer handled lease negotiations.
HENRICO COUNTY — Power Distribution Inc. has sublet 53,440 space at 520 Eastpark Court. The company needs additional space for a special project that’s expected to take about 15 months to complete. CB Richard Ellis handled lease negotiations.
WASHINGTON — First Potomac Realty Trust continued on a buying spree, purchasing its seventh office building this year. The Bethesda, Md.-based real estate investment trust acquired 1211 Connecticut Ave. for $49.5 million, or nearly $396 per square foot, from Harbor Group International Inc. of Norfolk. The purchase of the eight-story, 137,754-square-foot building — First Potomac’s third acquisition in the Washington metro area in 2010 — adds a total of 1.3 million square feet to its portfolio. First Potomac plans to renovate the property’s façade and lobby. According to the REIT, the building is 100 percent leased to 25 tenants. Other acquisitions included two Virginia properties: Atlantic Corporate Park in Sterling and Three Flint Hill in Fairfax County.
RESTON — Two new tenants are relocating their corporate headquarters to Parkridge Center Four, a new, class A office building just off the Dulles Toll Road. NetWitness, a network security firm, is leasing 30,000 square feet and plans to move from Grove Corporate Plaza 3 in Herndon by next April. Jones Lang LaSalle handled lease negotiations for NetWitness. Penzance Management, the building’s owner, also signed ScienceLogic to a 30,000-square-foot lease. The company, which provides IT operations and cloud monitoring, has moved into entire second floor and a half of the third floor in a deal that expands their space by nearly four times what they had at a former Reston location. CresaPartners represented ScienceLogic in lease negotiations.
ALEXANDRIA — A 24-hour, Walgreens drugstore on Richmond Highway sold for $10.5 million, or about $731 a square foot. Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services brokered the sale of the 14,469-square foot store, the sixth Washington-area Walgreens the firm has sold this year. A New York-based private investor bought the property from Pace Beacon Hill LLC. “Washington, D.C.’s healthy employment market helps make it one of the top-performing retail property markets in the nation,” Dean Zang, a vice president for Pace-Beacon Hill said in a statement. “Investors are especially focused on the single-tenant, net-leased segment.” In fact, these properties with national-credit retailers “are the most sought-after deals as high-net worth individuals and well-funded REITS compete for acquisitions.”
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