- The Washington Times - Monday, February 25, 2002

Montgomery County officials want to establish more biotechnology business parks, and are considering locations in Germantown and along Route 29.
The county's signature park, the 300-acre Shady Grove Life Sciences Center in Rockville, is essentially full. All of the parcels have either been developed or are slated for development, officials say.
The county began developing the park in the 1950s. Today it is home to Montgomery's biggest biotech companies, including Human Genome Sciences, BioReliance and EntreMed.
Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland also operate satellite campuses in the Life Sciences Center. The centerpiece of the park is the Shady Grove Adventist Hospital.
But officials don't want the Life Sciences Center to be the county's only biotech hub.
The county Department of Economic Development is scouting sites on Montgomery College's Germantown campus, and other locations near the planned U.S. Food and Drug Administation headquarters in the Route 29 corridor.
"It's very early in the process. Each site has different characteristics, and we are considering several options," says Henry Bernstein, the department's assistant director.
Montgomery County Executive Douglas M. Duncan, a Democrat, has included $250,000 in his proposed budget for a study that will evaluate possible sites.
Mr. Bernstein says the county would not necessarily develop a new park itself. And ultimately, officials would like to see biotech business parks developed at both the Germantown and Route 29 locations, he says.
Montgomery College officials say they are enthusiastic about the business park being built on the Germantown campus. The college has embarked on an ambitious program to prepare students for careers in biotechnology, and a business park would be a natural fit with that work, officials say.
It is not unusual for community colleges to get into the commercial real estate business.
The Borough of Manhattan Community College in New York and Springfield Technical Community College in Massachusetts have both built big business parks on their campuses in recent years.
Closer to home, the College of Southern Maryland recently partnered with the county's economic development commission to open an incubator in Waldorf for start-up businesses.
"Community colleges are much more entrepreneurial than other sectors of higher education," says Norma Kent, spokeswoman for the American Association of Community Colleges.
"They are so closely aligned with their communities that if they see a need, they often move to try to fill that void," she says.

Tivoli zoning approved
The D.C. Zoning Commission has approved zoning for Tivoli Square, an ambitious project slated to include a new supermarket, housing and the restoration of a historic movie palace in Columbia Heights.
Tivoli Square will place a Giant supermarket and new housing on a mostly vacant lot at 14th Street and Park Road NW. The centerpiece of the project will be the restoration of the vacant 1920s-era Tivoli Theater, which has suffered extensive water damage and vandalism.
Much of the space in the 41,000-square-foot theater will be converted into offices, shops and restaurants. A new, 200-seat performing arts area for the Gala Hispanic Theater and the Washington Performing Arts Society will also be built.
The Feb. 12 zoning approval allows the Horning Brothers development company to proceed with construction, which could begin this year and be completed in 2004.
"This project has been a long time coming due to the complexity of the public approvals. The zoning decision is a significant hurdle," says Joseph Horning, the firm's president.

Warehouses planned
Pacific Realty Trust has hired Manekin, a regional developer, to build four warehouses at Cabin Branch Distribution Center in Landover.
The four buildings will total 450,000 square feet. They will be located at the intersection of Cabin Branch and Sheriff roads, near FedEx Field and distribution centers for Giant Food and Safeway.
Two of the buildings, including one for Whole Foods, have been completed. The other two will be completed by fall, Manekin says.

In other news
The U.S. State Department and the Federal Mediation and Reconciliaion Board have renewed their lease for all 60,000 square feet at 2100 K St. NW. The 10-year renewal is valued at $20 million. Local brokerage Blake Real Estate arranged the deal.
Brokerage Marcus & Millichap has arranged the sale of two local apartment buildings. A private investment group has purchased the Ambassador Apartments, a 64-unit building at 1750 16th St. NW, for $3.2 million. A group of individual investors who have owned the building since the 1950s sold it. Marcus & Millichap also arranged the $1.1 million sale of the Queensbury Garden Apartments at 6104 42nd Ave. in Hyattsville. A private investor sold the 28-unit building to Hyattsville Queensbury LLC, an investment group.
Tucon Construction has renovated the 21,652-square-foot Fenton Communications office at 1320 18th St. NW. Architects O'Brien Travis Jaccard designed the new digs.
Lahoud & Hardan Enterprises, a Florida general contractor, will build the Our Lady of Lebanon Church at 7164 Alaska Ave. NW, an 18,000-square-foot, $3 million project.
Forrester Construction will build the Imagination Stage, the new home of the Bethesda Academy of Performing Arts. The $12 million project will include a 450-seat professional theater and a 200-seat theater for student productions. It will be located off Auburn Avenue in downtown Bethesda. Construction will begin in February and last about one year.
The Council of Better Business Bureaus has renewed its lease for 21,688 square feet at 4200 Wilson Blvd. in Arlington. Brokerages Julien J. Studley and Insignia/ESG arranged the renewal.
A limited partnership sold the Lottsford Business Center at 9475 Lottsford Road in Landover to Kenwood Management for $8.3 million. Brokerage Transwestern Commercial Services helped arrange the sale.
IBG Investors LLC has sold a 152,470-square-foot office building at 1750 K St. NW to the St. Joe Co. Terms were not disclosed. Brokerage Cassidy & Pinkard helped arrange the sale.

Property Lines is published every other Monday. Chris Baker can be reached at 202/636-3139 or [email protected]

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