Baltimore Business Journal: Best Real Estate Deals of 2011 -- Nevamar Plant Razed to Pave Way for Upscale Apartments

March 23, 2012

StonebridgeCarras was looking to finance the building of an apartment complex in Odenton. It was 2009 and conventional bank financing for construction projects had pretty much dried up.

“We were right in the middle of the financial meltdown,” said George Carras, StonebridgeCarras’ co-founder and co-manager. “It was virtually impossible to get financing.”

So the Bethesda developer went a different route. It turned to a federal program under which the Department of Housing and Urban Development guarantees bank financing. StonebridgeCarras had never applied for financing under HUD’s 221(d)(4) program, but developer Bozzuto Group had. So the two developers decided to partner on the deal.

It took two years to complete the process, which required a change in the Odenton Town Center master plan to allow for apartments on the site of the former Nevamar formica plant.

The $72 million HUD-guaranteed loan from Wells Fargo just closed Feb. 17. “It was a long, hard process and we’re happy with the outcome,” Carras said.

The 369-unit project marks the first time Bozzuto Group and StonebridgeCarras have worked together. The partnership has already spawned another deal. StonebridgeCarras hired to manage its Constitution Square apartment building in Washington, D.C.

“We hope to find other deals we can partner on together,” said Toby Bozzuto, executive vice president of Bozzuto Development Co.

The key players

Developers: Toby Bozzuto, Jeff Kayce, Michela Hancock, of Bozzuto Group; and George Carras, StonebridgeCarras

Architects: Steve Gresham and Jeremy Fretts, of Niles Bolton Associates

Civil engineer: Matt Morgan, of Morris & Ritchie Associates

Geotech/environmental engineer: Sam Stevenson, of Morris & Ritchie Associates

Structural engineer: Brian Cates, of Cates Engineering

MEP engineer: Michael Dodane, of KTD Consulting Engineers

Interior designer: Phyllis Hartman, of Hartman Design Group

Landscape architects: Marci Bonner and Matt Clark, of LandDesign

Lender: Wells Fargo