Posts Tagged ‘ real estate ’

Multifamily Deals Total $57,000,000 in Frederick during 2nd Quarter

Multifamily was the strongest segment during the second quarter, posting three of the top five deals and over 700,000 square feet sold.

Second quarter sales of Frederick County commercial real estate kept pace with the same time period last year, an encouraging sign that the local commercial market remains stable despite mixed economic signals nationwide.  Second quarter 2014 commercial real estate sales in Frederick  totaled $117.5 million, versus $119.5 for the second quarter last year and $19.5 million for the second quarter of 2012.

There were three large multifamily deals in Frederick during the quarter, as that segment continues to draw the most interest from REITs and national investment firms.  (MacRo Report will detail the top deals of the second quarter in a future post).

Industrial and warehouse properties placed a strong second, which reflects the activity we are seeing on the local level as small to medium-sized businesses are moving forward with long-postponed decisions regarding leasing and buying warehouse and flex space.  In reviewing second quarter transactions, it was interesting to note that there were several transactions in the municipalities of Brunswick and Thurmont, an indication that activity in the commercial market is increasing throughout the entire county.

It was a busy quarter for commercial land sales as well, with  double the number of transactions (but only 35 acres sold); the median price was $203,098 per acre.  That compares to 238 acres during the same quarter last year, at a median price of $90,000 per acre.

Note: Statistics provided for commercial property sales in this report are based on thorough research of every recorded commercial sales transaction listed in SDAT for the quarter reported, and are deemed reliable.  

The author:  Kathy Krach is a commercial sales and leasing agent with MacRo.

The 3 Key Qualifying Questions in Selecting a Commercial Real Estate Listing Broker

What should a property owner know before a listing commitment is executed with a land and commercial broker?

Let’s say you own a piece of land with some potential, or have a commercial building that you want to sell or lease.

How does one go about finding the right commercial real estate broker to make the “earth move” for you … so to speak?

All too often a property owner has a friend, a friend of a friend or met someone at a cocktail party.  Before you know it this broker has placed a sign up in front of the property and the waiting game begins.

Now, everything is under control and you are on your way to finding the perfect buyer and/or tenant, right?

For those you have had some experience in the legal side of business, the phrase “caveat emptor” is probably not an unfamiliar one.  Translated from Latin as “Let the Buyer Beware,” it is not that often thought of when a property owner (as a seller or a landlord) is seeking commercial real estate services.

In fact real estate sellers and landlords are actually buyers when it comes to contracting for the services of a land and commercial real estate broker.

Business owners and investors who hold a small to medium size real estate portfolio may have had experience in working with and selecting residential Realtors, but when selecting a land and commercial brokers, the qualifying process can take a bit more work.

Consider the following three key questions to ask the next time you are faced with such a choice:

1.         What experience does the broker have with moving real estate like yours?

Ask for very specific examples of similar property transactions – the successes and the failures.  Find out the specific technicalities of zoning, changes in use, and other governmental regulations that may or may not have impeded a smooth closing for other such transactions.  What lessons from those experiences will benefit the marketing of your property?

Does the broker have market and business knowledge of the type of property you own?  For example if the property is a multi-tenanted property, does the broker know how to read financials (familiarity of market rents, vacancy rates, realistic expense ratios, etc.) so he/she can speak the same language as the likely buyers for the property?

Will the sale or leasing of the property trigger a “change in use” in such that the local government will require a site plan modification or change in use permit, among many other avenues of red tape?

2.         What is the broker’s communication style with his/her clients?

This one cuts both ways and is probably one of the most important.

The hardest question that a property owner has to ask him or herself is can he/she build a relationship with the commercial real estate broker to where both can freely and confidentially share the truth about the real estate market conditions, the value of the real estate and real reason why the property is being placed on the market.

Does the broker have a consultative style, where he/she can appreciate the clients needs … sometimes a good broker can assist the client in finding methods that do not require a sale, when the client thought it was the only way out of a difficult financial situation.

How often will the broker and client communicate each week, month, etc., throughout the term of the commitment?  What are the expectations?

Does the broker have a strong support staff that will play a role in keeping the communications channels open?

The land and commercial real estate broker that you select must be someone you can trust (and visa versa).  As in the case of lawyer/client and financial adviser/client relationships, real estate transactions often involve a significant portion of one’s assets.

Are you, as a client of the broker, capable of accepting marketing advice that may not align with your hopes and dreams with regard to the anticipated property value, owner improvement requirements, etc?

 3.        What is the broker’s strategy find the right buyer/tenant within the shortest period of time?

Individual land and commercial real estate properties are very often considered very unique in and of themselves in type and category.

Clearly there are different pools of prospects to fish in when looking for a buyer of a 15 acre tract of general industrial land verses finding a tenant for a 2,000 square foot boutique shop in downtown Frederick.

Some commercial brokers specialize in a very specific class of real estate: mineral mining, big box retail, high rise apartments, etc. Others, as in the case of MacRo, Ltd., provide broader and more varied services to a specific geographic market.

In the case of the latter the advantage should be that the broker is an established member of the community at large and/or knows the ins and outs of all the local government agencies, as well as the mood of the political climate.

Once the path of deciding upon a specific class or at large broker is made, then it is time to consider the core principles of the firm’s approach to marketing as well as what specific market strategies can be merged into that program for the yielding the best results of the subject property.


There is any number of other qualifying questions that a property owner should ask, but if you’re in the market for land and commercial brokerage listing services, and you dig deep enough in to the depths of these core questions, you will select a very good match!

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 Brokers Lease of Office/Warehouse on Yukon Court

MacRo is pleased to announce the lease of 7,200 square feet of space at 5411 Yukon Court, in Frederick.  

The leased premises includes 2,700 square feet of finished office space and 4,500 square feet of warehouse space with 20′ ceiling heights.  The building is located just south of the City of Frederick at the US-15/340 and Mount Zion Road interchange.

David Wilkinson represented the landlord, OK Properties, LLC in this transaction.  The tenant is NexGreen, a lawn care and landscape maintenance company.

For more information on how MacRo, Ltd. Real Estate Brokerage Services may be able to assist you in the sale or leasing of your commercial or industrial property, contact David Wilkinson: 301-748-5670 or

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.

MacRo Brokers Lease of Office/Warehouse Space on Mack Avenue

MacRo is pleased to announce the lease of a 16,900 SF office/warehouse space at 4519 Mack Avenue in Frederick.

The total warehouse space includes a 1,500 SF office area and as well as a 20′ ceiling with interior security and fenced outside area.  It is also located just 2.5 miles south of Exit 31 / the I-270 interchange.

Rocky Mackintosh represented the landlord, Johnco, LLC., in this transaction.  The tenant is RCS Construction Services.

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

MacRo Ltd. Sells 7.16 Acre Lot at the Manor at Holly Hills

MacRo, Ltd. is pleased to announce the sale of lot 204 at the Manor at Holly Hills.  This 7.16 acre lot is open with expansive views looking eastward and is located at 9765 Ormonds Terrace, Ijamsville, MD 21754.

The sale closed on December 9, 2013.

The Manor at Holly Hills is a one-of-kind community situated on 185 idyllic acres just east of Frederick City.  Careful planning went into preserving the beautiful organic features of the land, including rugged rock outcroppings, rolling hillsides, and mature forests.

Rocky Mackintosh, President of MacRo, Ltd., was the agent who coordinated the transaction between the seller, the Manor at Holly Hills, LLC and the Buyer.

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


MacRo, Ltd. Sells 6.47 Acre Lot at the Manor at Holly Hills

MacRo, Ltd. is pleased to announce the sale of lot 104 at the Manor at Holly Hills.  This 6.47 acre lot is open with great views looking eastward and is located at 9774 Ormonds Terrace, Ijamsville, MD 21754.

The sale closed on December 9, 2013.  

The Manor at Holly Hills is a one-of-kind community situated on 185 idyllic acres just east of Frederick City.  Careful planning went into preserving the beautiful organic features of the land, including rugged rock outcroppings, rolling hillsides, and mature forests.

Rocky Mackintosh, President of MacRo, Ltd., was the agent who coordinated the transaction for the seller, the Manor at Holly Hills,  LLC.   The buyer was represented by Tom Rozynek, Frederick Land Company. 

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


Frederick’s Office Market: 3rd Quarter 2013 Update

 Small businesses and medical owner/users dominated Frederick’s office market during the third quarter of 2013.

The office market lingers in the doldrums, even as the remaining segments of Frederick’s commercial real estate market have shown signs of sustained recovery.  This is due to several factors:

  • dependence on government employment and spending in this region;
  • the loss in Frederick of several large office-using employers that left substantial pockets of vacant office space; and
  • continued rapid evolution of business office use.

The silver lining in this uncertain economic environment is that corporate profits are now at 12.5% of GDP, the highest level ever recorded.  When (if?) we do begin to get some clarity on how congressional budget issues will be resolved–and when quantitative easing will begin to wind down–U.S. corporations as a whole are in fine shape to ramp up hiring and investment.

In the meantime, here in Frederick, the office market had a relatively quiet quarter.  The chart below outlines a few big-picture stats on the office market’s 3rd quarter 2013 transactions:

 As you can see by the average square footage of the offices sold and leased during the quarter, the small business owner/user dominated activity in the market.  This is consistent with what we are seeing on the street, as well. 

Institutional and local investors aren’t seeing the return in local office buildings right now (with the exception of medical office buildings) and are focusing instead on multifamily and industrial properties.  Owner/users (particularly medical), on the other hand, are finding that favorable prices, low interest rates and ready capital make purchasing a viable option over leasing. 

Rumblings that the Fed may be considering (possibly, someday) a scale-back on quantitative easing has also put some urgency into the market.  Prices on a per-square-foot basis inched up about $10/SF over the 3rd quarter of last year.  (Given that there were only a little over a dozen transactions both quarters, this is not robust data, but hopefully a start to a trend.  We’ll keep an eye on it.)

The commercial leasing market is much harder to pin down accurately than sales transactions.  Commercial real estate agents are loath to share lease rates in order to protect their landlords and their bargaining positions. 

While CoStar is estimating the average lease rate for office space in Frederick at about $21/SF, on the street we are seeing the average come in closer to $11/SF for NNN leases.  The abundance of vacant flex space that Frederick is still absorbing is putting significant pressure on lease rates for traditional Class A and Class B office spaces in this area.  Another pressure is lease turnovers–five- and seven-year leases are renewing at current lower market rates, which are $3-$4/SF lower than the market rates were back when they were first originated. 

Generally speaking, if an office space in Frederick is leased in the $20-$25/SF range for a NNN lease, it’s a medical office.

CoStar reports that vacancy rates in Frederick office space are still hovering between 14-15%.  (Most Frederick commercial agents would argue that number is probably higher.)  Once vacancy rates reach a more stabilized 10-11%, and the market works through its inventory of higher-rate turnovers, lease rates will stabilize and begin a sustained increase. 

With 1.25 million square feet of office space to fill, and more new-build commercial office space under construction, we are more than likely still several years off from a full recovery of Frederick’s office market.

The author:  Kathy Krach is a commercial sales and leasing agent with MacRo.

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

Commercial real estate sales in Frederick are up more than 40% year-to-date over 2012 as the market continues a slow but steady improvement.

There is Christmas music wafting on the airwaves again, which means either we are back-to-school shopping in Costco or it’s that time of year to review the third quarter performance of Frederick’s commercial real estate market.

Miles & Stockbridge hosted a real estate forum at Dutch’s Daughter last week, and invited everybody’s favorite real estate economist - Anirban Basu - to give an overview of global and national economic health.

So here it is, in a nutshell:  at a projected GDP growth of 1.6% for the year, the United States is “among the least worst” of the advanced economies.  If U.S. economic growth isn’t stalled again by congressional budget issues early next year, Basu predicts that the U.S. economy will continue to grow a rate between 1.6-2% during 2014.

(Looking for a booming market to invest in?  Try the continent of Africa, where economies are not so much emerging as they are catapulting.  The GDP of the East Sudan, for instance, is targeted to grow at a 24% clip this year.)

If you’ve never heard the pleasure of hearing Mr. Basu speak, you are missing out, because his keynote speeches have more one-liners than a Seinfeld episode.  For instance:

“Throughout much of the United States, farmers are revered for being forthright, honorable, hard-working, and integral to society.  What do we call them in Maryland?  Polluters.”

I paraphrased the first sentence a bit, but the essence of his point  remains.  A perfect joke is funny, sad, and true all at the same time–and Basu nailed that one.

That topic alone is another blog post, so I’ll move on to the local commercial real estate market.

Year-to-date, sales of commercial properties in Frederick rose 43% over the first three quarters of 2012, totaling over $205 million.  Quarterly sales dropped from $77 million during the third quarter of 2012 to $47 million during the third quarter of 2013, not unexpected given that during the time many of the Q3 2013 sales were being generated there was mounting anxiety about the possible effects of sequestration on the economy.

Most segments of the commercial market were well represented in the 3rd quarter sales statistics, with the exception of warehouse and industrial properties, of which not much inventory remains on the Frederick market.

Following are the top five commercial real estate sales in Frederick for the third quarter of 2013, ranked by sales price:

1.  $12,350,000   Hampton Inn – 5311 Buckeystown Pike

Prince William Hospitality Investors, LLC sold the Hampton Inn to RockBridge Capital, LLC in a debt assumption deal in September.  The hotel, which is nearly 90,000 square feet, sold for $76,708 per room.

2.  $4,250,000   Prospect Hall – 889 Butterfly Lane

St. John’s Literary Institution sold Prospect Hall and the surrounding 31.7 acres to the Matan Companies in August.  Matan will be developing the land into a 13-building garden apartment complex totaling 376 units.  Prospect Hall will remain intact on the property.

3.   $4,240,000   USPS Distribution Facility – 1550 Tilco Drive

Chuck Roberts of Wonder Book purchased the former USPS distribution facility on Tilco Drive.  The building totals 109,350 square feet in size and sits on nearly 14 acres; it sold for $37.19/SF, or $303,943/acre.  Wonder Book will be expanding its warehouse book business at the site. Chris Kline of Kline Scott Visco brought the purchaser to the table.

4.   $4,050,000   Dairy Maid Dairy – 201 East Seventh Street

Dairy Farmers of America purchased the Dairy Maid Dairy operations and facility in September.  The real estate transaction totaled over $4 million and included about 120,000 square feet of buildings and a little over 13 acres of land.  The facility will continue to operate as a Dairy with the existing staff in place.

5.  $3,900,000   Columbia Bank – 5211 Presidents Court

Frall Developers purchased Columbia Bank in the Westview Corner Shopping Center from JCR Companies (a regional developer headquartered in Virginia) in September.  The building is 3,631 square feet in size and sits on 1.27 acres.  The sale netted a 6.87% cap rate, or $1,074.08/SF.

The author:  Kathy Krach is a commercial sales and leasing agent with MacRo.

Frederick County Considering TDR Program

How a TDR Program Works - MacRo Report Blog

A Transferable Development Right (“TDR”) program is once again being considered by Frederick County.  Earlier this year, the Frederick County Farm Bureau submitted a proposed zoning text amendment to the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC). In response, the BOCC established a workgroup to evaluate the opportunity for a TDR program in Frederick County. I have the honor of having been appointed as a member of this workgroup.

Rocky and I have been involved in land preservation efforts, including TDR programs, for over twenty years each.  Our clients include buyers and sellers of TDR’s, as well as owners and purchasers of land in Montgomery and Howard Counties affected by TDR programs.  What we have learned through our experience is that TDR programs can be very effective in preserving land, but the programs are complex and controversial.

If the county commissioners decide to move forward with a TDR program, we hope the citizens of Frederick County take an active role.  MacRo will keep a close watch on this issue.  Feel free to contact Rocky or me if you have any questions.

Think you have a property that would qualify for the TDR Program? Contact MacRo!

Contact Dave at
301-698-9696 ext. 203 or

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