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Washington Business Journal: JBG Rosenfeld, Bozzuto Pay $28 Million for Gaithersburg Site

July 17, 2012

JBG Rosenfeld Retail and the Bozzuto Group have closed on a $28 million land acquisition in Gaithersburg for the development of Downtown Crown, a mixed-use project slated to include a Harris Teeter-anchored retail center and nearly 540 apartments.

The developers plan to start site work later this month on the 20-acre development, which will feature an LA Fitness LA Fitness Latest from The Business Journals JBG Rosenfeld, Bozzuto pay million for Gaithersburg siteBank of America pays .5M for Cincinnati-area developmentLA Fitness leases former Old Town Borders Follow this company among 260,000 square feet of retail. The first of the retailers could open by late 2013 with the rest and the apartments opening in 2014.

JBGR principal Krista Di Iaconi said response has been strong from potential retailers interested in leasing space in the project, and she is exploring leases with a mix of local and national restaurants and stores. Bozzuto’s apartments, to be called the Cadence at Crown, will be built in two separate buildings above JBGR’s planned retail center. The apartments will be a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom units.

“I think one of the things that’s been missing in the area is a true destination,” Di Iaconi said.

JBGR and Bozzuto acquired the property from Crown master developer Sunbrook Partners. Representatives from JBGR showcased the project at the International Council of Shopping Centers’ Mid-Atlantic conference held at National Harbor in February. At the time, the developers hoped to close on the acquisition in May. Di Iaconi said that closing was delayed while Sunbrook completed underground infrastructure needed for the larger Crown project.

Sunbrook's master-planned community of Crown is slated to be developed over 182 acres and could include about 2,200 residential units.

Northwestern Mutual has agreed to provide equity, construction and permanent financing to Bozzuto's portion of Downtown Crown. In a statement, Northwestern Regional Director Bill Norton said he believes the project “will bring long-term value to our policy owners.”

Downtown Crown is also slated to include parks and recreation trails for area residents, and Di Iaconi said there will be enough outdoor space to host community gatherings and farmers markets.