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LAUREL, MD-Defense contractor Raytheon Solipsys inked a contract to lease 60,000 sf in a new building in the Maple Lawn development; a mixed-use park still under development here on the Howard County side of Laurel.

Michael Greenebaum, a principal with Maple Lawn developer Greenebaum and Rose Associates Inc., tells GlobeSt.com that the company, which is relocating from the Prince George’s County side of Laurel, was seeking additional space to expand. “The amenities here were also important to them. It will have a major impact on employee retention and recruiting because it is a much more pleasant environment than a typical office park.”

When Maple Lawn is completed in nine years, it will have 1.6 million sf of class A office space, and 180,000 sf of Main Street style retail as well as 1,344 residential units.

Raytheon Solipsys is the project’s first defense contractor and its largest office tenant, Greenebaum says. There are two buildings already constructed at 85,000 sf a piece. One building is 90% leased. The second building, located at 8170 Maple Lawn, will be 80% occupied by Raytheon Solipsys, when it moves in at the end of the year. A third 110,000-sf office building is nearing completion.

Chuck Breitenother and Kim Gero of CB Richard Ellis’ Baltimore office represented Greenebaum and Rose Associates Inc. and Michael Glick, of Corridor RF&S, represented Raytheon Solipsys.

Retail tenants include Trapeze Seafood Restaurant, the Pearl Day Spa, Quiznos, Urban Chic, Citizen’ National Bank, BP Gas Station, OZ Chophouse and the Daily Grind. There is some 55,000 sf of retail space already leased, according to Greenebaum.

Class A office space in Laurel is relatively scarce, Tonya Ginter, vice president of research for GVA Advantis tells GlobeSt.com. “There are about 11 buildings in the submarket that could be classified as class A.” Typical rental rates for class A space here is between $19 to $22 per sf. Vacancies in the area have been steadily improving. “We have seen a consistent drop in vacancy rates since 2005,” Ginter says.

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