St. John Properties acquires office development in Prince George’s County

Baltimore Business Journal | Melody Simmons

14400 Sweitzer Lane in Laurel, Maryland
14400 Sweitzer Lane in Laurel, Maryland

In a year marked by Covid-19 and widespread remote work, St. John Properties has acquired its second office property in the Baltimore-Washington corridor.

The private Woodlawn-based developer just bought the Class A office development at 14400 Sweitzer Lane in Laurel for an undisclosed price, officials said Wednesday.

The seller was listed as Riggs & Company Trustee based in Texas, state records show. It acquired the development in 1998 for $1.37 million.

The push into the Prince George’s County market is part of a strategy to boost leasing efforts for government contractors and other agencies that have been resilient during the pandemic. Another Maryland-based developer, Corporate Office Properties Trust (NYSE: OFC), has also focused on the public and private market that caters to military and cybersecurity-related companies.

“Leasing activity among professional services firms, government contractors and related companies has accelerated in the second half of this year in the Baltimore-Washington common market,” said Sean Doordan, a senior vice president for St. John.

The four-story building sits on seven acres and is half leased, a spokesperson for St. John said. It stretches 120,904 square feet and is located just off Interstate 95 near Fort Meade, the NSA-Goddard Space Flight Center and offices for the federal Food and Drug Administration.

St. John is planning to add $500,000 in upgrades to the development, including a fitness center and spiffed up common areas and landscaping. Doordan said the developer is also offering signage on the building’s facade to potential tenants. The office building has a two-story lobby, an outdoor patio and a 400-vehicle flat-surface parking lot.

“Our team is extremely familiar with the Prince George‚Äôs County commercial real estate market based on our development activities and long-term leasing accomplishments at Melford Town Center and other projects,” Doordan continued. “We believe companies will increasingly choose strategically-located suburban office space to take advantage of its lower density and more functional floorplates.”

Dan Callihan, executive managing director for Newmark Knight Frank, represented the seller in the deal.

This acquisition was St. John’s second office deal in Maryland this year.

The company recently acquired the one-story, 58,000-square-foot development at 7152 Windsor Mill Road in Woodlawn with a single tenant, Fortune 500 company Leidos.

St. John’s portfolio holds more than 20 million square feet of flex, office, retail and warehouse space in eight states including Colorado, Louisiana, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Utah.