Strong Market Demand for UMBC Research Park Buildings
International property development and investment firm Grosvenor announced today the sale of two buildings at bwtech@UMBC, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County’s on-campus research and technology park, to Baltimore-based Merritt Properties, LLC.
Merritt acquired the 63,000 square foot three-story building at 5521 Research Park Drive, delivered in 2001 and fully occupied by RWD Technologies, and the 60,000 SF 5523 Research Park Drive building delivered in mid-2004. 5523 Research Park Drive is leased to multiple tenants including BDMetrics, Inc., Edwards and Kelcey, Invoke Systems, Convergent Technologies, Physicians Practice, Goddard Earth Sciences and Technology Center, and other organizations including several UMBC program offices.
The sale includes transfer of a long-term ground lease for the two building lots, totaling approximately eight acres. However, the sale terminated Grosvenor’s prior development agreement and plan for the remainder of the 41-acre site.
“Our successful sale of bwtech@UMBC is part of Grosvenor’s overall U.S. strategy to concentrate our holdings in four major markets -- Washington, D.C., Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco -- while focusing on urban office and boutique retail product,” said Andrew Galbraith, Senior Vice President, Grosvenor. “In divesting this suburban office park, we found a perfect match with Merritt Properties, which is locally based and has developed more than 13 million square feet of office, flex, and industrial property in the Baltimore-Washington corridor.”
"We were pleased to see such high market demand for our buildings," said Ellen Hemmerly, executive director of the UMBC Research Park Corporation. "Our team was also delighted to have a top-notch manager like Merritt Properties on board who will maintain the high standards and reputation in the real estate industry that Grosvenor had established so well with bwtech@UMBC."
"We look forward to working with UMBC and are excited about the acquisition of these two Class A office buildings which help further strengthen our position in the marketplace,” said Robb Merritt, Vice President of Merritt Properties.
Merritt manages several other top properties in the greater Baltimore region, including Columbia Corporate Park, Columbia Corporate Park 100, Beltway Business Park, Schilling Square, Timonium Business Park
and Merritt Owings Mills.
bwtech@UMBC allows tenants to benefit from access to UMBC’s expertise, students, technology, programs, and facilities. Businesses moving to the Research Park, which is part of Maryland’s Southwest Enterprise Zone, may receive tax incentives in exchange for creating new jobs and making capital investments.
UMBC began planning for a new research and technology park in the early 1990s, based on the success of similar endeavors in other parts of the U.S. In 1998, UMBC forged ahead with its approved plan for a research and technology park that would house more mature companies, potentially including “graduates” of the techcenter@UMBC incubator program. UMBC searched for a development partner and ultimately selected Grosvenor, based in part on the firm’s experience in developing other research parks including one at The University of Edinburgh in Scotland.
About Merritt Properties, LLC:
Merritt Properties, LLC defines its mission simply: Creating Homes for Businesses. Since 1967, this privately held commercial real estate firm has developed more than 13 million square feet of industrial and office properties in the Baltimore/Washington area. Merritt designs, builds, leases and manages their properties for the long-term and is committed to providing the highest quality service to all of its customers. For more information about the company, please visit www.merrittproperties.com.
Grosvenor is a privately owned real estate development and investment company that has been active in North America for more than 50 years. The Company’s North American portfolio consists of more than six million square feet of space, including office, retail, industrial properties, and residential units. Internationally, Grosvenor has interests in properties with a total value of $20 billion, with operating companies in the Americas, UK and Ireland, Continental Europe and the Australia/Asia Pacific region. For more information about the Company, please visit the Grosvenor Web site at: www.grosvenor.com.