A military construction spending bill that calls for preserving 7,600 acres of Fort Meade in Maryland and selling another 1,400 acres has cleared the House.
The $8.3 billion bill, including the land transfer deal worked out by members of the Maryland congressional delegation, was approved this week by a vote of 312-82.
The director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service would determine which "environmentally sensitive" areas should be set aside from the 9,000-acre parcel.
The secretary of the Army would then transfer those 7,600 acres at no cost by the end of September next year. Officials said the property could not change hands again, unless approved by law.
The 1,400 acres to be sold would include the 400-acre Tipton Army Airfield, a facility Maryland officials hope eventually would become a general aviation airport.
A similar measure is expected to be pushed by Maryland's two Democratic senators when the Senate considers its own military construction legislation.
The Bank of America said this week it will provide $250 million in mortgage money to help hundreds of California residents buy homes in lower-income communities. The loans will then be purchased by the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae), bank officials said.
Eligible borrowers will be buyers of homes in census tracts and Zip code areas where incomes generally are 80 percent of the median in the metropolitan area where they live, a bank spokeswoman said. Purchasers will be allowed to make lower down payments than is usual and will not be required to have as much money in reserve as most borrowers are required, she said.
Funds in the $250 million pool will used for fixed-rate loans. The bank began offering adjustable-rate mortgages in lower-income communities in May.
D.C.-based Fannie Mae is a congressionally chartered, private company that buys home mortgages from lenders as a way to provide money for more home loans and then packages the loans to sell to investors.
Construction of a $40 million, 14-floor office tower in Norfolk could resume as early as October after being halted because of financial problems, a Richmond-based developer says.
Work on the First American Financial Center was stopped June 7 after Marine Midland Bank of New York cut off funding. The building was supposed to be completed by the end of this year.
Deborah Stearns, regional vice president of financially troubled Rowe Development Co., said the firm is negotiating several alternatives to finish the project, including finding new lending sources.
If the company's efforts are successful, the building could be ready for occupancy by next June, she said.
Rowe, one of the Virginia's largest commercial real estate developers, also is attempting to restructure loans on several other Virginia properties facing foreclosure.
Among them are the Peninsula Center office complex in Newport News and nearly a dozen one-story buildings in the Innsbrook Corporate Center in western Henrico County outside Richmond.
"The record price-setting trophy building acquisition phase of Japanese real estate investment activity in the U.S. is largely over," said James L. Mooney of Landauer Real Estate Counselors, a Manhattan consulting firm. In response to localized "Japan bashing," Japanese investment is becoming more diversified in terms of participants, property types, deal structures and geographic interest, he said.
Picking up the slack, many Japanese insurance companies have been investing in European real estate, which is generally viewed as healthier than the U.S. market, and because of feared restrictions on foreign investment after 1992.
Although total investment is expected to be down for the second straight year in 1990, Japanese banks will increase their construction lending activities in the United States to fill the competitive void left by the withdrawal of U.S. S&Ls and banks from the real estate market.
IN THE BUSINESS ... Home sales in the Washington area were up 15.7 percent in June from their May total, according to Housing Data Reports, a survey of industry trends. However, yearly totals of single-family home and town house sales were down again in the District and its suburbs in Maryland and Virginia. Condominium sales totaled 1,956 in the first half of 1990, down from 2,085 in 1989. The drop was mostly because of a 28 percent drop in Maryland condominium sales, which totaled 904 this year compared with 1,249 in the first half of 1989. Condominium sales were up slightly in Virginia and the District ... Ray Chappell and his management team signed an agreement to purchase the 68 Prudential Preferred Properties branches in the Washington, Baltimore and Philadelphia areas from Prudential. The 2,700 sales associates with the firm will operate as part of the Prudential Real Estate Affiliates network ... The North American office occupancy rate was reported at 81.9 percent recently, down from 83.1 percent at mid-year 1989, the Building Owners and Managers Association said. Rates in downtown areas declined 0.9 percent to 84.9 percent while suburban rates increased by 0.3 percent to 79.3 percent from a year ago. The District ranked seventh with an occupancy rate of 85.4 percent this year ... Dallas-based Centex Homes plans to introduce a collection of single-family homes designed to provide flexibility in design and price. In a mix-and-match offering, purchasers will be able to choose combinations of rooms, lofts, skylights and sun rooms to create their 2,000- to 3,400-square-foot homes, with prices starting at $212,000 ... The Fairfax County Exceptional Design Awards program selected as this year's winners the Fairfax Building in Tysons Corner and the Old Schoolhouse in Great Falls ... Donohoe Construction Co. began construction on the 800,000-square-foot south parking structure at National Airport, a $24 million project ... Richard G. Pietrowitz of Gibbsboro, N.J. was selected at the first president of the newly formed Appraisal Institute, the unification of the American Institute of Real Estate Appraisers and the Society of Real Estate Appraisers. The group will begin operations Jan. 1 ... Concierge Enterprises Inc., a new business that will serve commercial and corporate office buildings, was formed in Arlington.
PERSONNEL FILE ... Richard Graubard was promoted to vice president of the Fred Ezra Co. of Bethesda ... Courtyard Title and Escrow Co. Inc. of Rockville named Christopher F. Naughten vice president and counsel and Kirk A. Hornbeck vice president ... Sandy R. Garchik was promoted to vice president of Clark Enterprises Inc.
-- Compiled from staff reports and news services