St. John Properties to Develop Spec Commercial Park in Baltimore County

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St. John Properties, a Baltimore-based developer, has acquired a 17-acre parcel in Cockeysville, Md., with plans to build the Hunt Valley Exchange, a speculative commercial development with flex, office and retail components.

Cosmetics and skin cream manufacturer Noxzema, which has its headquarters in Hunt Valley, Md., was the seller of the land parcel.

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St. John Properties detailed plans for a 110,000-square-foot development in Baltimore County, which will be next to cosmetics giant Coty’s manufacturing facility on the corner of York Road and Wight Avenue. 

“The flex/R&D asset class continues to perform extremely well in this region, and this site adds to our critical mass of properties positioned in the York Road corridor,” Sean Doordan, St. John Properties’ executive vice president, acquisitions and growth, said in a prepared statement. 

St. John Properties will proceed with speculative development of three buildings following approval of the site plan.

The development will consist of two single-story, 46,120-square-foot flex/R&D buildings, an inline retail building with 8,125 square feet of space, and two retail pad sites between 3,000 and 6,000 square feet each. 

Leasing opportunities are expected to take place immediately, with St. John marketing to restaurants and medical facilities, among other uses, according to Doordan.

The spec model has proven itself elsewhere for St. John Properties, such as the recent lease up of Ashburn Crossing, an 80-acre business park built on spec in Ashburn, Va.

Earlier this year, the company noted it would speculatively develop 26 buildings of various sizes and asset types, totaling more than 1 million square feet of commercial space.

The Interstate 83 corridor is one of the most stable markets in the greater metropolitan region, as limited supply has maintained low vacancy levels, while keeping asking rates high, according to JLL (JLL)’s latest Baltimore County market report.

St. John Properties has developed and currently manages five business communities along the York Road corridor, comprising nearly 600,000 square feet of commercial space, including Crestridge Center, Loveton Business Park, Yorkridge Center North, Yorkridge Center South and Timonium Exchange. 

Joining Doordan in representing St. John Properties was Alex Lyons, while JLL’s Jay Wellschlager, represented the seller in the sale.

Keith Loria can be reached at Kloria@commercialobserver.com.