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Comstock Holdings Companies, Inc. Acquires the Upton in Rockville

RESTON, Va., Oct. 20, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -Comstock Holdings Companies, Inc. (NASDAQ: CHCI) announced today the acquisition of The Upton, in a joint venture between CHCI and Comstock Partners, LC, an affiliated, privately-held company. The 15-story, luxury high-rise apartment building is located at 44 Maryland Avenue in Rockville, one block from the Rockville Metro Station in the heart of the I-270 Technology and Life Science Corridor in Montgomery County. Built in 2015, the 263-unit mixed-use property includes approximately 16,000 square feet of retail and a commercial parking garage. CHCI received a $500,000 acquisition fee in connection with the transaction and will also receive investment related income and incentive fees in connection with its equity interest in the asset. In addition, its wholly owned residential, retail, and parking property management subsidiaries will provide management services for the property in exchange for market rate fees.

CHCI will rebrand The Upton, as BLVD Forty Four, with newly renovated amenity areas and signage. The property offers a mix of unit types and floor plans ranging from studio, one bedroom, and two-bedroom apartments with two floors of indoor/outdoor amenity spaces, in addition to an expansive rooftop deck that provides unparalleled views of the skylines of Tysons and Reston, as well as the Blue Ridge Mountains. The retail space is anchored by Panera Bread, WesBanco and World of Beer.

“This acquisition represents our commitment to expansion of our BLVD portfolio of best-in-class mixed-use apartment properties in transit-oriented locations that offer upscale urban lifestyle, proximity to major employment centers and ease of access to downtown Washington, DC and the entire Washington Metropolitan region” said Chris Clemente, CEO of CHCI. “As demonstrated by our ability to entitle, develop, and acquire in-demand real estate assets in areas with barriers to entry, coupled with the significant development pipeline we control in the high growth Dulles Corridor, I am confident that CHCI is well-positioned to continue expanding assets under management and its recent pattern of growth of profitability”.  

Cushman & Wakefield represented the seller, Duball, LLC and arranged the debt for the buyer. Jorge Rosa, TJ Liberto, Shaun Weinberg, and Bill Collins handled the sale and Marshall Scallan and Michael Zelin led the financing. Bill Collins commented “The Duball team is a valued client of ours and they did a great job developing The Upton which is a perfect fit for Comstock with their focus on high quality, transit-oriented investments. This is the second large deal we’ve closed with the Comstock team and we’re looking forward to completing more in the future as they accelerate their acquisitions program.” 

This transaction brings CHCI’s acquisition volume of income-producing properties to nearly $400 million since 2019. CHCI’s management expertise of mixed-use residential, retail, and office properties, and commercial parking garage operations makes this latest acquisition an immediately synergistic addition to its managed portfolio. With its continuing focus on such immediately accretive acquisitions as well as continuing development of its extensive controlled development pipeline, CHCI continues to significantly increase its total assets under management in accordance with its long term growth objectives.  

About BLVD Forty Four 

BLVD Forty Four, formerly The Upton, is a luxury 15-story, mixed-use and transit-oriented multifamily community located at the Rockville Metro Station. The property consists of 263 multifamily, approximately 16,000 square feet of street-level retail, and a Park X commercial parking garage that serves BLVD Forty Four and the surrounding community. Built in 2015, BLVD Forty Four’s amenity package includes a lobby with 24-hour concierge service, a modern fitness center with TRX studio, and an expansive penthouse social lounge. The property includes an expansive resort style rooftop deck with multiple social gathering areas, a large swimming pool, multiple grilling stations, and an outdoor television lounge. The property provides residents a number of walkable amenities and accessible community events at Rockville Town Center throughout the year. Residents have access to 180,000 sq. ft. of retail, restaurants and entertainment venues, as well as seasonal festivals, holiday events and the largest seasonal outdoor ice-skating rink in Montgomery County.

Source: https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2021/10/20/2317850/0/en/Comstock-Acquires-The-Upton-in-Rockville-Maryland.html



Rockville Ranks Among Best Small Cities for Retirement

Rockville ranks #40 in SmartAsset’s top 50 small cities for retirement

Article orginally published by SmartAsset on October, 19 2021

A study conducted by HigherAHelper found that retirees are twice more likely to move to a new state than all other movers, and more than a quarter of retirees who moved in 2020 chose to leave larger cities and metropolitan areas.

To uncover the best small cities for retirement, SmartAsset analyzed 247 places (with poulations between 65,000 to 100,000 residents) across eight metrics:

  • Percentage of population above the age of 65
  • Housing costs as a percentage of retirement income
  • Estimated tax burden for seniors
  • Number of retirement communities
  • Number of medical centers
  • Violent crime rate
  • Property crime rate
  • Unemployment rate

For the full list and SmartAsset’s data and methodology, please visit: https://smartasset.com/data-studies/best-small-cities-for-retirement-2021





Three Rockville Businesses Listed Among 75 Fastest-growing Greater Washington Companies

Graphic source: Washington Business Journal

Washington Business Journal's annual list of Fastest Growing Companies ranks businesses' growth by average percentage change in revenue

#7 - Apex Home Loans, Inc.

Apex Home Loans, Inc. is a lending institution focused on providing mortgages that meet the financial goals of its clients. Apex Home Loans is headquartered in Rockville, MD and has multiple locations across Maryland, as well as Pennsylvania, Virginia, South Carolina and Florida.

#20 - Bravium Consulting, Inc.

Bravium Consulting, Inc. is a management and technology consulting firm headquartered in Rockville, MD. Bravium was established in 2010, and specializes in Enterprise Service Management, Application Development and Project Management Office.

#56 - Presidential Exteriors

Presidential Exteriors is a Rockville-based building-exterior remodeling company licensed to operate in Maryland, Washington D.C., and Virginia. Presidential Exteriors holds GAF Master Elite Certification, a nationally recognized assurance of high quality work and service.

24 Rockville Schools Among Best for Grades K-8

Rockville elementary and middle schools were included U.S. News' inaugural list ranking more than 80,000 U.S. schools

Article originally published by Rockville Patch on October 12, 2021

ROCKVILLE, MD — Elementary and middle schools in Rockville have been ranked among the best in Maryland, according to a brand-new ranking released Tuesday by U.S. News & World Report.

For the inaugural list, U.S. News published rankings and data on more than 80,000 public elementary and middle schools across the United States. Schools are ranked at the state and district levels. The best charter schools and best magnet schools ranked as stand-alone categories.

U.S. News ranked Robert Frost Middle School as the highest in the state among schools in Rockville, according to the new list. Robert Frost Middle School was ranked fourth among middle schools in the state. Here’s a look at how elementary schools in Rockville ranked compared with others in the state:

39: Lakewood Elementary
51: Fallsmead Elementary
60: Farmland Elementary
72: Lucy V. Barnsley Elementary
80: Ritchie Park Elementary
113: Candlewood Elementary
146: Cashell Elementary
167: Bayard Rustin Elementary
182: Maryvale Elementary
183: Flower Valley Elementary
196: Mill Creek Towne Elementary
228: Wheaton Woods Elementary
247: Beall Elementary
254: Rock Creek Valley Elementary
283: Brookhaven Elementary
374: College Gardens Elementary
484: Meadow Hall Elementary
634: Twinbrook Elementary

Here’s a look at how middle schools in Rockville ranked compared with others in the state:

4: Robert Frost Middle School
29: Tilden Middle School
34: Julius West Middle
95: Parkland Middle
98: Redland Middle
127: Earle B. Wood Middle

To determine the rankings, U.S. News used data from the U.S. Department of Education to analyze two areas at each school:

  • Math and reading proficiency — or how well students perform on state assessments.
  • Math and reading performance — or how well they perform compared with expectations.

The state assessment data used in the rankings is from the 2018-19 school year and, therefore, predates any effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on test-taking.

Schools were also ranked within their district. Here’s how elementary schools in Montgomery County Public Schools measured up:

1. Bannockburn Elementary
2. Cold Spring Elementary
3. Wayside Elementary
4. Travilah Elementary
5. Potomac Elementary

Here are the top five middle schools in Montgomery County:

1. Thomas W. Pyle Middle School
2. Herbert Hoover Middle
3. Robert Frost Middle School
4. Cabin John Middle School
5. North Bethesda Middle

Nationally, California has 5,534 ranked elementary schools — the most of any state — followed by Texas at 4,446; New York at 2,211; Florida at 2,128; and Illinois at 2,038 schools.

California also has the most ranked middle schools with 2,319, followed by Texas at 1,942; Illinois at 1,243; New York at 1,219; and Florida at 997.

See the complete list of 2021’s Best K-8 Schools.

Source: https://patch.com/maryland/rockville/24-rockville-schools-among-best-grades-k-8-u-s-news



Rockville-based Supernus to acquire Adamas Pharmaceuticals

Supernus' acquistion brings a new Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved drug to its portfolio of Parkinson's disease treatments

Article Originally Published by Rockville Nights on October 12, 2021

Rockville-based Supernus Pharmaceuticals announced Monday that it is acquiring Adamas Pharmaceuticals, adding to its portfolio of Parkinson’s disease treatments. The deal will bring Adamas’ GOCOVRI (amantadine) extended release capsules, the first and only U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved drug for the treatment of both OFF and dyskinesia in patients with Parkinson’s disease who are receiving levodopa-based therapy; and Osmolex ER® (amantadine) extended release tablets, which is FDA-approved for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, and drug-induced extrapyramidal reactions in adults.

The deal is a financial win for Adamas stockholders, and will expand the revenue base and cash flow of Supernus. “This acquisition represents a significant step to further build a strong and diverse Parkinson’s disease portfolio, and aligns with our focus of acquiring value-enhancing, clinically-differentiated medicines to treat CNS diseases,” Jack Khattar, President and CEO of Supernus Pharmaceuticals said in a statement. “We have a proven track record of strong commercial execution, and look forward to building on GOCOVRI’s growth momentum so that more patients can benefit from access to Adamas’ innovative neurological therapies.”

Once again, biotech – along with residential housing construction – remain the only bright spots in an otherwise moribund and stagnant Montgomery County economy. This is largely because the smart decisions that led to the growth of Montgomery’s biotech sector were made before those who wrecked the County’s economy took office in 2002, 2006 and 2010. Supernus is located at 9715 Key West Avenue in Rockville.

Source: http://www.rockvillenights.com/2021/10/rockville-based-supernus-to-acquire.html


Emmes President and CEO named among Washington Business Journal’s 2021 ‘Women Who Mean Business’

Congratulations to Christine Dingivan, President and CEO of Emmes!
Emmes is a global full service clinical research organization (CRO) dedicated to supporting the advancement of public health and biopharmaceutical innovation. Emmes serves on REDI’s Board of Directors as Vice Chair.

ROCKVILLE, Md., October 11, 2021 — Christine Dingivan, President and CEO of Rockville-based clinical research organization Emmes, was recognized among the Washington Business Journal’s 2021 ‘Women Who Mean Business’ award recipients.

Dingivan joined Emmes in September 2020 at the height of the industry’s response to Covid-19. Emmes was a key contributor to the data and statistical analysis work for Moderna’s Covid vaccine trials and the National Institute of Health’s evaulation of Covid-19 treatments. Under Dingivan’s leadership, Emmes grew, expanding its network internationally and increasing its employees by 200 in 2021.

The 2021 Washington Business Journal ‘Women Who Mean Business’ honored 25 women at an awards banquet on Thursday, October 7 at the Ritz Carlton in Washington D.C.  Each year women from various industries and professions across the Washington D.C. region who have made a difference in their communities, blazed a trail for others and are leaving an indelible mark on business in the region are selected from a public pool of nominations and determined by a panel of judges made up of program alumni.

Read Christine Dingivan’s Washington Business Journal ‘Women Who Mean Business’ profile here: Women Who Mean Business 2021 – Christine Dingivan

Maryland Department of Labor 2021 Employer Incentive Plan

The Maryland Apprenticeship Training Program (MATP) administered by the Maryland Department of Labor has allocated $3,260,957 to increase business participation in Registered Apprenticeship by creating the 2021 Maryland Employer Incentive Plan (EIP) initiative.

The EIP is a rolling reimbursement program, where employers receive repayment for a portion of the costs of On-the-Job Learning (OJL). All apprentices served through the EIP must be newly registered apprentices and must meet the criteria for Registered Apprentices. Learn more about Registered Apprenticeship Program here: 2020-2023 State Apprenticeship Expansion Grant

EIP Eligibility Requirements

The following entities are able to apply:

  • Employers who sign up to participate in an existing Group Joint or Group Non-Joint Registered Apprenticeship
  • Employers who register a new Registered Apprenticeship program
  • Sponsors and/or employers who reactivate a currently inactive Registered Apprenticeship
  • Sponsors and/or employers who register apprentices after implementation of the EIP

Employers can be private, public, or non-profit as long as they are a Registered Apprenticeship Sponsor or a signatory, or participating employer with a Group Joint or Group Non-Joint Registered Apprenticeship Sponsor approved by Maryland Department of Labor.

Reimbursement Requirements

Employers that partipate in the EIP are eligible for reimbursement for a portion of the costs of OJL. The breakdown for reimbursement amounts is as follows:

  • Businesses with 50+ employees (large employers) are eligible for reimbursement of 50% of the wage rate of apprentices for a maximum of 30 hours per week; or
  • Businesses with 49 or fewer employees (small employers) are eligible for reimbursement of 75% of the wage rate of apprenctices for a maximum of 30 hours per week

Maryland Department of Labor calculates reimbursement based on the first 13 weeks of actual employment not to exceed $3,120 per apprentice for large employers and $4,680 per apprentice for small employers.

  • For more information on the Maryland Apprenticeship Training Program (MATP) , please click the following link: MATP
  • For questions about MATP and EIP, please contact David Minges, Program Manager, MATP

The Rockville Chamber of Commerce Announces 2021 Rock Star Award Winners

Press Release originally published by Rockville Chamber of Commerce on September 27, 2021

ROCKVILLE, MD — The Rockville Chamber of Commerce (RCC) annually recognizes its Rock Stars of the Year in the following categories: Small Business of the Year, Large Business of the Year, Non-Profit of the Year, Entrepreneur of the Year, Young Professional of the Year and the Community Service Award. Following are this year’s winners in each category.

Small Business of the Year Award recognizes a company that has been in business for at least five years with revenue under $5M. Specific criteria include: flexibility, innovation and has a proven unique business and marketing strategy that has benefited the Rockville community. The 2021 Small Business of the Year is SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney. Presented by last year’s winner, Pam Clark of Clark Concepts.

Large Business of the Year recognizes a company committed to the vitality and community in Rockville, which has over 50 employees and over $5M in revenue. Specific criteria include:  a commitment to their employees, their customers and has invested time, energy, and resources in the Rockville community. The 2021 Large Business of the Year is Marquis Health Services – Collingswood Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center. Presented by last year’s winner, Dan Cochran of Adventist Healthcare, Shady Grove Medical Center.

The Non-Profit of the Year recognizes outstanding practices among Rockville’s diverse non-profit organizations. Specific criteria include success in creating a lasting and beneficial impact for Rockville residents and sets a strong example for other non-profits in the community. The 2021 Non-Profit of the Year is Charity Connect.  Presented by previous award winner Andrea Kempner Wink, Community Reach of Montgomery County.

Entrepreneur of the Year recognizes a person who works for or operates a business taking on financial risk to do so, and identifies a need that no existing businesses address, and determines a solution for that need. Additionally, although the term “entrepreneur” is often associated with startups and small businesses, any founder of a successful household-named business began as an entrepreneur. Specific criteria include year over year growth, innovation, resilience, flexibility, and a unique business and marketing strategy, and a proven track record of commitment to the Rockville community and businesses. The 2021 Entrepreneur is Ryan Terko from Simply Nutrition.  Presented by last year’s winner, Josh Funk of Rehab2Perform.

Young Professional of the Year recognizes an individual who is active in the Young Professional’s group of our Chamber and steps up to a leadership role within their organization. Specific criteria include tenacity and an exemplary commitment to the Rockville community and businesses. The 2021 Young Professional of the Year is Marcy Santos. Presented by Asif Choudhury, Bahar Consulting.

Community Service Award: RCC started this award in 2020 to recognize extraordinary efforts of individuals with a generous spirit. Bob Blanken of Blanken Photography Studio receives the 2021 Community Service Award of the Year.  Presented by Board Chair, Babita Singh of WesBanco.

Award winners will be honored at a black-tie optional sit-down dinner at the Manor Country Club in Rockville on November 4, 2021. Tickets are available until October 28, 2021. Attendance is not exclusive to Chamber members. All business community members are encouraged to attend and celebrate the award winners.

Maryland Industrial Development Financing Authority

Maryland Department of Commerce MIDFA Resources – Friday, September 24, 2021

The Maryland Department of Commerce’s MIDFA promotes private sector investment in economic development projects through the insurance of financial obligations  and the issuance of taxable and tax-exempt bonds. The program promotes greater access to capital for small and medium sized businesses, and supports historically disadvantaged businesses in rural areas.

Eligible purposes include land acquisition, building acquisition, renovations, construction costs, machinery & equipment, furnishings & fixtures, leasehold improvements, eligible ‘soft costs’, and working capital. MIDFA facilitates capital access by issuing private activity revenue bonds and can provide credit insurance in the form of a loan guaranty to reduce lender’s risk. 

Private Activity Revenue Bonds

  • Taxable Bond: Provides access to long-term capital markets for primarily fixed asset
  • Tax-Exempt Bond: Provides access to long-term capital markets for fixed asset financing at tax-exempt rates. Eligibility is limited by Federal law to 50` (c) (3) non-profits organizations, manufacturing facilities and certain solid waste projects. Additional limitations apply to the specific transaction type.

Credit Insurance

  • Conventional Program: Insures up to 80% , not to exceed $2.5 million of a transaction made by a financial institution. Export transactions may be insured up to 90%
  • Bond Program: Insures bonds up to 100%, not to exceed $7.5 million of taxable or tax-exempt bonds.

Program Eligibility

Commercial and Industrial (with the exception of retail), manufacturers, and not-for-profit entities.

Rockville preliminarily approves annexation for 365-unit development

The proposed development includes 247 townhouses and 118 multi-family units on 20 acres

Article Originally Published by Bethesda Magazine on September 14, 2021

Rockville on Monday preliminarily approved an annexation and preliminary development agreement that includes up to 365 units at the site of a car dealership. 

Officials previously discussed the proposed annexation and development at a meeting in July, before Rockville’s summer recess.

The updated agreement includes 247 townhouses and 118 multifamily units. The project would be on roughly 20.58 acres at the King Buick car dealership site along Md. 355, south of Fedor Avenue, city staff documents show.

At least 58 of the units must be moderately priced dwelling units (MPDUs), according to city code. Those units must be affordable according to formulas involving area median income. For instance, a family of four would qualify for living in one if their maximum income is $77,400.

Mayor Bridget Donnell Newton and City Council members supported the proposal before Monday’s vote.

Council Member Beryl Feinberg and staff members of EYA, the developer of the site, spent several minutes discussing what age range of children a playground at the site should serve.

Feinberg said she has lived in townhouse communities, and wanted to make sure the playground served younger and older kids. 

“I’ve seen how, when you have a toddler, before your very eyes blink more than once or twice, they become children in third, fourth, fifth, sixth grade, and their needs are different than young to very young children,” Feinberg said. 

EYA did not object to including an age range for the playground in the agreement, but wanted to make sure amendments did not prevent the developer from choosing the playground equipment and age ranges. 

After several minutes, Feinberg, council members and EYA officials agreed to add language in the development agreement, specifying the playground is meant for kids ages 2 to 12. 

The development will also feature a pool, a surrounding patio and a community center, city documents show. 

Council Member Mark Pierzchala praised the project before the vote Monday.

“It’s a really great project, I think it enhances the King Farm community, enhances possibility for King Farm Farmstead and enhances pedestrian and bike transit along [Md.] 355,” Pierzchala said. “I think the city of Rockville ought to be thinking about extending those enhancements further south.”

According to city documents, EYA now must submit more documentation laying out more specifics about the development, before final approval by the mayor and City Council.