Posts Tagged ‘ commercial real estate ’

MacRo Brokers Sale of Flex Warehouse Building on Metropolitan Court

MacRo is pleased to announce the sale of 4537 Metropolitan Court, Frederick, Maryland 21704 for $2,050,000.

The sale closed on January 17, 2014.

This flex brick warehouse building has 32,172 square feet, ceiling heights as high as 16 feet, and a loading dock.  The property is situated on a 3.98 acre lot.  The intended use will be for a high end firearms training facility with plans to open in late 2014.

Rocky Mackintosh, President of MacRo, Ltd., was the agent who brokered the transaction between the seller, Heritage-Frederick Property, LLC, and the Buyer, Frederick – TWG Limited Partnership.

For more information on how MacRo, Ltd. Real Estate Brokerage Services may be able to assist you in the sale or acquisition of land, and/or the sale or leasing of your commercial or industrial property, contact Rocky Mackintosh at 301-748-5655 or

Initiating Commercial Real Estate Plans and the Groundhog

Despite the frigid cold, now is the perfect time to consider listing commercial real estate for sale or lease

As I sit here at home on this very cold winter day, taking a break from wrapping my frozen pipes with heat tape in the cellar of my Civil War period farmhouse, I think about all the things I have planned out for when the weather finally brings some warmth to Frederick County.

I also realize that I am not the only one who is anxious for the arrival of spring.

In the world of business and investment real estate, many find themselves in the chilly months of the new year evaluating the performance of their businesses and investment properties.  From that process many a decision is made to dispose of or expand commercial real estate holdings.

At some point it is time to put those plans into action.

The question is when.  How about now?

I liken it to the groundhog poking its head out of its burrow on a cold early February morning (or for that matter like me stepping out of my cellar), asking, “Is now the time?”

Traditionally execution of residential real estate decisions happen in the spring when the yard starts to show its luster.

Taking action on commercial real estate sales and leasing plans by businesses and investors is much different.  All too often plans are based upon contracts gained or lost, leases that are due to expire or the receipt of year end reports and projected forecasts.

No matter how sophisticated or unsophisticated one does his or her planning, sometimes it is best to seek the advice of a real estate professional.

Experience has shown me that we at MacRo, Ltd. receive more calls between early November and the end of February than most other times of the year from new and past clients who wish to sell or lease properties.

Most seek advice and guidance on the state of the current market and/or the marketability of the property that they plan to sell or lease.

After being engaged in the land and commercial real estate business for over 40 years, my staff and I are very fortunate to have earned the trust of hundreds of property owners throughout the region.

For new clients our initial meeting is also a vetting of sorts to find out if we are the right team for the job to market their property.  Most find that our consultative approach in providing sales and leasing services is what makes the difference in getting the job done in a very timely manner.

If you are thinking about putting your plans into action, go ahead and step outside … Yes, it is cold … but if you see your shadow, please don’t retreat back into your burrow, give us a call.

This is the perfect time to start executing your 2014 plans.

The author: Rocky Mackintosh, President, MacRo, Ltd., a Land and Commercial Real Estate firm based in Frederick, Maryland. He served as a member of the Frederick County Charter Board from 2010 to 2012.  Many of his articles also appear in 

2013 Commercial Real Estate Sales in Frederick Jump by Nearly 40%

2013 was a year of growth for Frederick’s CRE market, in both year-over-year dollar volume and transaction volume.

Since 2012, MacRo  has been tracking all sales of commercial real estate in Frederick County by segment.  We were pleased to see Frederick County post $275 million worth of commercial real estate sales, versus about $200 million in 2012.  That’s a nearly 40% increase in dollar volume.  In addition, the number of CRE sales transactions increased by over 20% from 2012 (149 transactions versus 123).  While two years is hardly enough data to begin tracking trends, it is nevertheless encouraging to see sales growth heading in the right direction–up!

Considering our local economy had to dodge sequestration, the fiscal cliff, AND the rollout of Obamacare (not to mention Governor O’Malley) the results aren’t half bad.  Frederick’s office segment is still limping, but overall activity in our local commercial real estate market appears to be improving.

Below are a couple of charts highlighting commercial real estate sales in Frederick County for 2013 and those for the 4th quarter of 2013 by market segment, based on both dollar volume and number of transactions.  In the coming weeks we’ll share the top commercial real estate deals of the 4th quarter of 2013, as well as those of 2013 overall.

This graphic was created from data in the Frederick County tax and land records.  The information is deemed to be accurate, although MacRo has not independently verified it and does not guarantee that it is correct.

2014 Economic Forecast: Bankers Cautiously Optimistic

A commercial real estate broker’s take on the Maryland Bankers Association First Friday annual Economic Outlook Forum

Right from the start, I want to thank Rob Tuggle, Market President at BB&T, for the invitation to this year’s event held on January 3, 2014 at the Renaissance Haborplace Hotel in Baltimore.

I always find it interesting to hear a diversity of perspectives on where the professionals think the economy is heading.

This year’s forum featured a number of impressive speakers:

  • Anirban Basu, MA, MPP, JD, Chairman & CEO, Sage Policy Group
  • Anika R. Khan, Director and Senior Economist, Wells Fargo Securities, LLC
  • Agnes G. “Aki” Pampush, CFA, Director of Equity Strategies, SunTrust Private Wealth Management
  • Jeffery J. Schappe, CFA, Managing Director & Chief Market Strategist, Sterling Capital Management, an independently operated subsidiary of BB&T Corporation
  • Dr. Quincy Krosby, Chief Market Strategist, Prudential Annuities
  • Jeffrey M. Lacker, President, The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond gave the keynote address

This well healed cast of characters did not all sing from the same song sheet.

Here are some highlights that those of us who play in the world of commercial real estate brokerage, investment and development may find interesting:

Quantitative Easing, Inflation and Interest rates: 

The Fed has been purchasing about $85 billion in bonds every month since the end of the third quarter of 2012.  Bernanke has made it clear that the Federal Reserve will continue pumping money into the economy until the job market improves.

“This has created certainty in the market,” stated Basu.

Krosby expects that his successor Janice L. Yellen will follow the same course.  Generally all speakers believe that the pace will begin a moderate tapering as we approach the spring of this year.  But expect that this policy will not cease anytime soon.

With job growth still increasing at a very slow pace, many see an overall improvement in the nation’s economy in 2014.  The final tally for 2013 is expected to show that the economy grew at a meager 2%, and most expect this year will increase to around 3%.

Inflation seems to be in check for the next year or so.  Since 1993 the average rate has been 1.3%.  The last 12 months it has been 0.9%.

Lacker expects that to double in 2014 to around 2%, with no deflation on the horizon.

Interest rates will begin to steadily increase proportionally with the amount of tapering carried out by the Federal Reserve.  Current rates of 4.5% will likely be 5.5% twelve months from now.

Real Estate – Winners and Runners Up:

Seems that the general feeling is that there may not be any real losers in 2014.

With businesses finding that they must build up their inventories to maintain a competitive advantage, expect commercial and industrial property activity to be stronger than in 2013; however Khan predicts that retail growth will be slower in ’14.

The office market will continue to experience the struggles of a shifting market as the amount of square feet per employee will continue to shrink.

There was a strong increase in hotel demand in 2013, due to foreign travelers from Brazil and China.  But with their economies dipping, that could impact 2014 somewhat.  However, with increasing values of retirement funds, the Baby Boomers are getting out more.

Both Basu and Khan see significant increases in real estate development.

The big winner in this arena will be visible growth multifamily housing according to Khan, but she expects this to be short lived.

The single family market will begin to experience a shift in the types of buyers with a movement away from investors to a stronger amount of the traditional user consumer.  While housing prices increased at a rate of 13% in 2013, Khan thinks this will slow considerably.  Housing starts will continue to be strong, but not like last year.  Much of this will be related to increasing interest rates.


The Washington DC metro area can now boast that it has the second lowest unemployment rate (5.9%) in the nation, hovering above the Minneapolis-St. Paul market with a rate of 4.1%.

In Maryland, Montgomery and Howard counties continue to have the highest percentage of employed residents (except during that brief period of the government shutdown).  Frederick County is ranked 16th in the state with unemployment at 5.7%.

Lacker stated that for the coming year, he believes that employment growth remain the same as the last 4 years … around 1.0%.

He continued that with the working age population shrinking, companies state that they cannot find good labor.  Technology, says Lacker, may be shifting too fast to make up the difference.

Basu made a point of stating that government data is becoming less and less reliable over that last several years, and suggested caution in leaning heavily on such.


Growth is real.  According to Pampush stocks are not overvalued.  The big returns in 2013 were driven by expansion, and top line pressure will now be for stronger returns in the coming year.

She believes that the S&P 500 will be up 5% in 2014.

BB&T’s Jeffrey Schappe threw a bit of cold water on outlook with a reminder that there were far more losers than big winners in 2013.

Threats to Stability:

Remaining consistent Schappe proved to be First Friday’s the pessimist in the room.   He offered that the US economy was actually very close to falling into a new recession in 2013.

He noted that 3rd quarter GDP growth in both 2012 and 2013 was very subdued at 1.6% … the lowest since World War II.

Schappe expects a softening economy and states that by a margin of 10 to 1 of businesses surveyed there is a negative outlook for the economy.

He asks that if things are as rosy as many are saying, why is it that the Fed is extending its policy of quantitative easing with no real end in sight?

The general feeling among the speakers was that an increase in the minimum wage and the implementation of Obamacare will not have much of an impact on the 2014 economy; however there were mixed reviews on what they will mean in later years.  Schappe added that “at the end of the day, we are transferring wealth,” which creates uncertainty.

Speaking of uncertainty, Lacker noted that the number one threat that consumers see to a stable recovery is government red tape and over regulation.  “Business and investors need to know the rules,” said Schappe, “when government keeps changing them, this creates real uncertainty.”

He also noted that real personal income growth continued to trend negatively, while personal consumption is increasing.  Student loans and auto loans have increased dramatically with longer amortization periods and down payments at zero in many cases.

Basu added that governmental structural deficits are growing.  In Maryland he stated that the O’Malley administration has raised taxes “in every conceivable way,” yet no real progress of reduction is in sight.

In Summary:

The next twelve months hold promise for the real estate industry.  Inflation will be very low, interest rates will increase about 1.0% over this period and the stock market will continue to show good gains.

The Fed will continue its policy of making all this possible pumping more new money into the economy, but with a bit of tapering that is solely dependent on positive economic indicators.

While many forecasters believe that the trends are clear that a growing economy will continue for years to come, others state that the fog is too thick beyond a year’s time.  Lacker put it this way: “From a longer-run perspective, it’s worth noting that current law still implies an unsustainable path for federal expenditures and receipts.”

So fellow travelers, the word is to enjoy the ride, but proceed with caution!

The author: Rocky Mackintosh, President, MacRo, Ltd., a Land and Commercial Real Estate firm based in Frederick, Maryland. He served as a member of the Frederick County Charter Board from 2010 to 2012.  Many of his articles also appear in 

MacRo’s 2014 Commercial Real Estate Wish List

The MacRo team shares 2014 hopes and dreams for the economy, the local commercial real estate market, and (most importantly) an end to twerking.

2013 was a roller-coaster year of highs and lows here at MacRo.  The phone was ringing again, property showings were brisk, and December was the strongest month MacRo experienced since the real estate bubble burst.

Overall we ended on a high note and enjoyed the ride, but there is still a lot of room for improvement in Frederick’s real estate market. This week the MacRo sales and marketing team shares their commercial real estate wish lists, along with hopes of a fulfilling and prosperous 2014 for our clients, colleagues, and the citizens of Frederick County.

Rocky Mackintosh, President

My wishes for 2014?  Well, I prefer to stay local in where the Pixy Dust may settle:

  1. May I quickly find the perfect buyers and tenants for all my clients!
  2. May the City fathers and mothers (Mayor and Board) find the will to provide subsidies to make a downtown hotel conference center a reality!  … and yes, they CAN pull it off without spending a penny!
  3. May Blaine Young make the right political decision!
  4. May Jan Gardner go back and check her record before she writes another op-ed for the Frederick News Post!
  5. May Frederick County Public Charters Schools finally earn the respect they deserve!
  6. May political polarization reverse itself in local politics!
  7. May Duk Hee Ro sell all of her downtown properties!
  8. May the Golden Mile live up to its name!
  9. May my friend Seymour Stern finally get a break in life!
  10. May Simon return home to Kai Hagen!

Dave Wilkinson, Vice President

The real estate industry is dependent on the economy which in turn is heavily influenced by politics – so many of my hopes and dreams are in this vein.  Here are my wishes for 2014:

  1. Peace on Earth.   Wouldn’t that be wonderful?
  2. The Executive and Legislative branches of our federal government make meaningful progress in reducing the national debt, without a government shutdown.
  3. Implementation of Obamacare doesn’t wreak havoc in the insurance markets and spill over into the national economy.
  4. The Maryland legislature makes it through its entire 90 day session without increasing taxes and fees.
  5. Elections of our first County Executive and County Council don’t result in a wild swing of the “growth pendulum”.
  6. The US men’s national soccer team makes it through group play at the World Cup (gotta have one sports-based wish).

 Our industry thrives on stability – let’s hope sound economic policy overrides political gamesmanship and we’ll all have a prosperous 2014.

Steve Cranford, Vice President Commercial Sales and Leasing

Although I have many ‘wishes’ for 2014 (lower golf scores, fewer overpriced properties, etc.), the two below are what I have in the general commercial world.  

  1. Research and development of various technologies is a fundamental part of Frederick’s future. For meaningful job growth in Frederick, we must encourage the expansion of the manufacturing and transportation sectors supporting those numerous technologies. Intellectual capital is easily transportable to support more economic production and delivery processes.
  2. The medical industry is being reassembled through a variety of legislative and economic activities. Frederick should be a leader in that changing landscape by becoming a healthcare hub.

Kathy Krach, Commercial Sales and Leasing

It seems appropriate to stay true to fairy tale form, so I’m asking for three magic wishes in 2014.

My first wish for 2014 is a slew of new Class A and B office-using jobs for Frederick County–which by extension should provide traction in the local office market recovery.  The office market continues to be one of the poorest-performing segments of commercial real estate in Frederick.  This is partially due to a nationwide evolution in corporate office use, but more so to the barriers to entry Maryland has put in place in terms of corporate taxes and commercial development fees.  Oh, and let’s not forget the glut of vacant Frederick office space left by large employers fleeing the state for “greener” pastures.  (See what I did there? Pun fully intended.)

My second wish is for an economic crystal ball with a reasonably clear view of the next several years. Seasoned economists hesitate to discuss the economic outlook beyond the next twelve months, and who can blame them?  The U.S. is experiencing one of the longest economic recoveries on record; the good ship QE3 shows no signs of docking;  the roll-out of Obamacare is fraught with incompetency and uncertainty; and the nation continues to hurtle toward yet another fiscal cliff like a Jurassic comet heading for the dinosaurs.  And that doesn’t take into account the black swans threatening the global economy.  There are no proven economic models to quantify or predict the future given the variables we are dealing with today.  Here’s to seeing at least some of those variables swept away or resolved in 2014.

My third wish for Frederick in 2014 echoes Dave:  I hope to see robust voter turnout in the fall elections, and more importantly, that Frederick County’s citizens elect a county executive and council who take a balanced, inclusive, and non-extremist approach to development and land planning.  Now that would be a fairy tale with a happy ending.

Christina May, Real Estate Marketing Consultant (Managing Partner & CMO at Illumine8 Marketing and PR)

As with the residential market, the commercial market should finally find solid footing in 2014. With consumer spending and confidence driving the US economy back in business, businesses are gearing up to meet the demand. Expect it to be a busy 2014!

What does this mean for commercial real estate? It means growth. The Urban Land Institute is naming warehousing as a stand out sector for 2014 with businesses shorting supply chains, increased data demand and R&D sector growth. I believe multi-family will still rule the day in 2014 in line with the changing market persona trend of “less is more”.

With those thoughts in mind, my wish list for 2014:

  1. Increased consumer confidence

After years of trepidation, the economy seems to be returning to “normal” or as some have termed it “the new normal”. I would like to see companies that have been sitting with cash reserves invest in new technology, training and development, thereby creating more economic stimulus, opportunity and growth. “Back in the day” was a while ago now, time to put away the rain umbrella.

       2.  Hyper-local economic stimulus

I am a huge supporter of “live here, work here”. Frederick County has seen certain economic indicators improve in 2013.  Frederick has lost significant ground in the construction, manufacturing, information services, and financial services sectors over the same time period. There is a silver lining: Industrial Permits are back to levels previously seen in 2009 and the vacancy rate for commercial real estate has continued to decline.

My wish would be creating more skilled employment so that Frederick County truly has the opportunity to live here and work here.

       3.  Arts in Schools

It is a proven fact that music education leads to higher test scores, advanced English and math skills and even higher graduation rates - yet arts education is one of the first programs considered to go when the budget axe is swung.  My wish would be for more arts education in our schools at all grade levels.

      4.  Twerk Twit

Someone please send Miley Cyrus’ agent a note that lets her know “twerking” is so very 2013. I wish she would just cut that out. And oxford dictionary, shame on you.

What is on your wish list for this year?

For more information about how MacRo, Ltd. Real Estate Services can assist you in the sale, acquisition, or development of land, and/or the sale or leasing of your commercial properties, please contact Rocky Mackintosh at 301-748-5655 or


9 Most Read MacRo Report Blog Posts in 2013

The New Year is barely a few days old, but the results are already in for the most read posts of 2013.

After fifty two weeks and over 52,000 words posted on the MacRo Report Blog, the tally is in for the top nine posts of last year.

Our writings covered a tremendous amount of territory on Frederick County, Maryland’s most read commercial real estate blog.

As usual we not only filled the Blogoshpere with a countless number of local market transaction statistics, but there were profiles of political figures and eulogizes to titans who have passed on.

We provided advice to wannabee commercial real estate agents and told tales from the Darkside of the land brokerage business.

Of course along the way there was a story or two about Rocky’s travels and losing another smart device … but what else is new!

The MacRo Report featured interviews and commentary from regional experts on the state of the economy, and rounded things out with our semi-annual newsletters.

While our series on the 2013 City of Frederick Mayoral race was very well received, we left those out of our most read statistics, as the November 2013 election is history now, which introduced us to three new faces and reaffirmed three incumbents.

Please reminisce a bit with us, or read for the first time our 9 most popular posts from 2013:

1.  Is Downtown Frederick’s Hotel Conference Center a Pipe Dream?

2.  Remembering M. Robert Ritchie, Jr.: The Last of the Titans

3.  County Executive: Other Applicants Need Not Apply?

4.  Frederick’s Top Five Commercial Real Estate Deals of Third Quarter 2013

5.  Flipping Out Over Commercial Real Estate

6.  Tales from the Darkside of Commercial Real Estate (Full Version in PDF)

7.  Real Estate Roundtable: The Future of Frederick’s Commercial Market

8.  A Tale of a Pioneer PUD: Part 1 of the legacy of Bill Brosius and Lake Linganore

9.  How to Break into Commercial Real Estate Brokerage

To all our readers and subscribers, we at MacRo, Ltd. truly appreciate your patronage, your hundreds of comments (here on the blog and via other social media) and wish you and yours a very happy and prosperous 2014!


MacRo Sells Two-Story Professional Unit on Chairmans Court

MacRo, Ltd. is pleased to announce the sale of Unit 102 at 5216 Chairmans Court for $240,000 to a professional counseling practice.

The sale closed on December 20, 2013. 

The two-story, 2,000 SF unit in this 7-unit complex offered an excellent layout for medical and professional uses and was within walking distance to Westview Shopping Center.

Kathy Krach of MacRo, Ltd. represented the seller.  Tim Connolly of Avison Young represented the buyers.  

For more information on how MacRo, Ltd. Real Estate Brokerage Services may be able to assist you in the sale or acquisition of property, contact Kathy Krach at 301-332-7891 or


MacRo Brokers Lease Renewal for Office/Warehouse Space on Industry Lane

MacRo, Ltd. is pleased to have brokered a lease renewal for 5713 Industry Lane, Suites 49 & 50, Frederick.

Rocky Mackintosh, President of MacRo, Ltd., represented the landlord for this 5,664 SF combination office and warehouse space.

For more information on how MacRo, Ltd. Real Estate Brokerage Services may be able to assist you in the sale or acquisition of land, and/or the sale or leasing of your commercial or industrial property, contact Rocky Mackintosh at 301-748-5655 or


Tis’ the season …

What is it about the three to four week period between Thanksgiving and Christmas?

It is a time to be jolly, but the time between turkey dinners can also mean more than a full belly.  

How about a full plate!?!

So here we are in the midst of this “Wonderful Time of the Year!”

Preparing for this endearing (or is the word “enduring?”) period in the lives we Americans annually impose upon ourselves, the heat is turned up slowly through a couple phases in the months leading up to “decking the halls with boughs of holly.”

There is the period between the end of August and Halloween.  For most, it is a time to settle in as best you can after the summer heat subsides and family vacations. 

Ah, but then the issue of getting the kids prepared for school, fall clean up, the end of the baseball season, the start of football season and fall events that reconnect us with friends.

The next phase delivers another level of intensity as Thanksgiving approaches and people start realizing that the that season of giving is quickly approaching … not to mention the end of the year.  Some, but not most actually take action during this period.

… and then reality sets in and before that Thanksgiving turkey is fully digested it seems that rat race starts with a bang …

Yes, Black Friday began this year at 8:00 PM on Thursday!

For most, stress levels increase across the board.  Some take the wise approach and make a list in advance, while others procrastinate and sprint to the finish line.

Of course, as most Christmas shoppers know, the intensity level of that stress grows with the length of the to-do list … and as the countdown gets into single digits of days and then just hours.

All those decorations … and the tree!

In addition many people look at the close of the year as a time to plan and take action toward goals for the New Year.

For business owners and investors decisions around divesting or expanding their commercial real estate portfolio will often make that to-do list, as well.

If a property has been on the market for the last several months (or years, as the case may  be), an owner uses this “season” to re-evaluate their marketing strategy.  That may mean making a change in the asking price or doing something radical as selecting a new commercial real estate broker.

For others this becomes a time to set the stage for initiating a plan of action that will kick off in the coming year.

Zeroing in the what’s been happening within the walls of MacRo, Ltd., activity has been brisk with a record number of closings taking place in this month of December … at a rate of one per working day, while the coordinating of all this can be stressful, we sure aren’t complaining!

At the same time meetings with new clients who have made the decision to move forward with projects that have sat idle for years are clearly on the upswing.

While I’m sure this a trend that the industry is experiencing “in merry measure,” it does make this “the season to be jolly!”

Lest we not forget that amidst the annual stress we endure in one shape or another, this is an important time to gather with friends and family to share, reflect and rejoice.

So be safe these next two weeks, take a few deep breaths each day …

PLEASE drive carefully … and whatever you do, don’t accelerate at a STOP sign unless the car in front of you makes that decision first! 

Like I did today … A fender bender that no one needed.

Fa la la la la, la la la la

The author: Rocky Mackintosh, President, MacRo, Ltd., a Land and Commercial Real Estate firm based in Frederick, Maryland. Many of his articles also appear in 

MacRo, Ltd. Sells Office Townhouse Condominium in Westview Corporate Center

MacRo, Ltd. is pleased to announce the sale of Unit 107 at 5216 Chairmans Court for $263,000.

The sale closed on December 6, 2013.

The two-story, 2,000 SF unit in this 7-unit complex offered an excellent layout for medical and professional uses.

it is located within walking distance to Westview Shopping Center.

For more information on how MacRo, Ltd. Real Estate Brokerage Services may be able to assist you in the sale or acquisition of property, contact Kathy Krach

She can be reached at 301-332-7891 or

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