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FREDERICK, MD-St. John Properties Inc. will break ground this spring on the first phase of a $40-million flex/office park located here, with an expected delivery date of Q4 2007. The company has acquired a 104-acre tract of land near the intersection of Route 85 and Interstate 270 from the Russell family, local investors.

At full build out, the park could support up to 11 buildings. The Baltimore-based developer’s initial plans call for the construction of two single-story buildings that will be between 45,000 sf to 60,000 sf each, Dennis Castleman, vice president of marketing, tells GlobeSt.com. “These will be built on spec. We plan on starting the leasing process immediately.”

Jerry Wit, senior vice president of marketing and leasing for St. John Properties, says in a statement that the company’s typical flex/office building design is geared to small and medium-sized users of space, “particularly those in search of a combination of office, manufacturing or warehousing capabilities.”

The company will begin developing subsequent buildings according to market demand, Castleman says. However, construction will begin on additional products later this year. “Frederick is such a hot market now that new builds are key to our company strategy,” Castleman says.

Other projects the firm has under development here include the Center @ Monocacy and the Riverside Technology Park. Together these will deliver nearly one million sf of flex/office space into the market at final build-out.

Anecdotally, Frederick’s industry and flex/office market has been attracting more investment in recent months. Earlier this week, the Washington Real Estate Investment Trust acquired a five-asset industrial/flex portfolio here for $26.5 million, as reported in GlobeSt.com. Late last year Merchants Properties LLC in Baltimore acquired an 83,000-sf, two-story flex asset in Frederick for $10.9 million.

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