St. John Properties Secures Exclusive Development Rights for 413-Acre Business Community within Aberdeen Proving Ground

BALTIMORE (June 23, 2009) – Opus East, LLC assigned exclusive development right for The Government and Technology Enterprise The GATE Enhanced Use Leasing (EUL) project at Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG), Maryland to St. John Properties, Inc. The assignment of The GATE EUL was approved by the Department of Army on June 19.

Once completed, the 413-acre site within the 72,000-acre Army installation could include up to two million square feet of research and development and Class “A” office space. St. John Properties is assuming construction, marketing and leasing activities from Opus East, LLC. Opus was originally selected to construct and manage The GATE Enhanced Use Leasing (EUL) project.

“After carefully reviewing and vetting St. John Properties, the Army determined that it is in its best interest to approve the assignment of The GATE EUL to St. John,” said Bob Penn, Army EUL Program Director. “They are uniquely qualified to successfully complete this commercial business park in the timeframe that is needed.”

“Aberdeen Proving Ground is excited about moving the project forward with St. John Properties,” said Tim McNamara, APG deputy garrison commander. “We consider it a positive step to have their experienced management team spearheading the build-out of this project.”

The original configuration of The GATE was to include approximately two million square feet of office, lab, and research and development space, providing a synergetic environment for firms, defense contractors, and other Army and Department of Defense units working on activities to complement the missions of APG. The ongoing transformation of APG will result in approximately 6,000 new government jobs, which will be augmented by additional support contractor jobs. At an estimated ratio of two contractors for every government employee, the growth could attract as many as 18,000 new jobs to the area.

Among major projects currently under construction at Aberdeen Proving Ground is two-phase, 2.5 million square foot campus to house the Command, Control, Computer, Communication, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) Command operations, that is expected to be delivered in third quarter 2011. At that time, approximately 5,000 workers will relocate from the existing facilities at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey. The relocation of C4ISR to Harford County is generally recognized as the primary driver that will stimulate BRAC-related commercial real estate activities over the next 20 years.

“We view this development as the most significant commercial real estate opportunity in the history of our company. This is based on the amount of square footage that can eventually be developed as well as the important work that will be completed by end-users that occupy this space,” explained Edward A. St. John, President and Founder of St. John Properties, Inc. “Our entire company is applying the skills and resources generated from nearly 40 years of experience to successfully jump-start this project.”

St. John Properties intends to immediately start grading a portion of the property in anticipation of constructing three or four research and development and office buildings totaling between 150,000 and 200,000 square feet of space. These initial projects are designed to satisfy the backlog of commercial real estate space that presently exists at the The GATE project. Over the predicted 20-year build-out phase that St. John Properties expects to develop product at the business community, the company will invest a significant amount of money for grading and the installation of necessary infrastructure improvements.

St. John Properties, Inc., founded in 1971 as MIE Properties, owns and has developed more than 14 million square feet of R&D/flex, warehouse, office and retail space in Maryland, Colorado, Louisiana, Virginia and Wisconsin. For more information about the company, visit

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For more information, please contact:
Al Cunniff, Director of Marketing, St. John Properties, Inc.
(410) 369-1277