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Press Room

Developers gobble up 240 acres at Crossroads @95 for $120M plan

July 14, 2006

Chesapeake Real Estate Group LLC and Prudential Real Estate Investors have acquired 240 acres at Baltimore Crossroads @95 and plan to develop the site into office, warehouse and industrial buildings.

Although the purchase price was not disclosed, James Lighthizer, a principal for Chesapeake, said the companies expect to pump about $120 million into the project - on the land acquisition and development combined.

The deal with Somerset Construction Co. and the A.V. Williams Trust represents a quarter of the nascent White Marsh business park and one of the biggest commercial real estate sales in Baltimore County this year.

It also shows the strength of Chesapeake, a small Anne Arundel commercial real estate and development firm formed about 18 months ago by Lighthizer and Douglas Schmidt, former CB Richard Ellis Inc. brokers.

"It's a big deal for our company because it puts us on the map," Lighthizer said.

Chesapeake and Prudential are planning nine buildings totaling 1.5 million square feet at the 1,000-acre park, three miles east of Interstate 95 and White Marsh Boulevard. About two-thirds of the complexes will be office/warehouse, with the remainder geared towards distribution.

Construction on the first three office/warehouse buildings - with a combined 215,000 square feet - is expected to occur this fall, once grading and building permits are secured, Lighthizer said.

Interest in the planned warehouse and distribution centers remains high, Lighthizer said. About 12 or 13 companies, including some local manufacturing operations and out-of-state biotechnology outfits, have toured the site.

Yet, Chesapeake and Prudential have not secured any leases yet. The companies, which refer to themselves as a joint venture, are willing to sell the buildings, too, Lighthizer said.

Michael Caruthers, president of Bethesda-based Somerset Construction, said he expects a number of defense-related tenants to flock to Crossroads. "We absolutely believe we're going to be the beneficiaries of this BRAC development," he said.

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