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Former USi building near Annapolis Town Center set for mixed redevelopment after $30 million purchase

A Georgia-based developer has purchased a Riva Road property across from the Annapolis Town Center for $30 million with plans to construct a massive residential and retail development.

SJC Ventures, formerly known as SJ Collins Enterprises, completed the purchase in late December for 2500 Riva Road, according to a news release from Hyatt Commercial, which brokered the sale.

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The 12-acre property, previously owned by Corporate Office Properties Trust, is located at the intersection of Riva Road and Towne Centre Boulevard, across from the Annapolis Town Center and adjacent to the Festival at Riva Shopping Center. The site had once been considered for the location of a Wegmans grocery store, but the regional grocery chain pulled out of the deal in November 2019. Around the turn of the century, the property was occupied by Usinternetworking Inc., an internet startup company.

The development project, which will go by the name Beacon Square, includes a proposed 52,000 square feet of retail and office space, 508 multifamily residential units and a 43,000-square-foot grocery store, according to the release. In a separate transaction, Avalon Bay Communities, a Virginia-based real estate investment firm, acquired a portion of the site for residential development.

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“2500 Riva Road has a long history in the Annapolis commercial real estate and business communities. It has been home to multiple national employers as well as locally headquartered tech companies,” said Justin Mullen, president of Hyatt Commercial, in the release.

“In recent years there has been a focus on redeveloping the site to maximize its location in the Annapolis Town Center. SJ Collins is a world-class developer who will help to transform this property into a thriving environment for the community to enjoy for years to come.”

The architect for the project is Dynamik Design, based in Atlanta. The company has designed residential, commercial and mixed-use developments in Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, Colorado, Missouri and Texas, according to its website.

The property is located in Anne Arundel County, just outside Annapolis city limits. Site plans also show two separate entrances on Riva Road, extensive surface and garage parking, and courtyard and recreation space.

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“Beacon Square will become part of our portfolio of transformative and high-energy, mixed-use centers to give residents in Annapolis a central gathering place for living, working, shopping and entertainment,” said Jeff Garrison, partner at SJC Ventures, in the release. “We look forward to breaking ground immediately.”

The Parole area has recently been a hotbed for development and growth.

In November, Annapolis Town Center announced a range of renovations, including an expanded green turf and a common area, fire pits, boathouse pavilion and ice skating rink in the wintertime. In May, a 6.75-acre property at 2555 Riva Road was put up for redevelopment, with plans for a proposed five-story, 250-unit apartment building with a parking garage and first-floor retail. The design includes a central plaza, outdoor patio and landscaped park-like open areas.

The 2500 Riva Road property is also within the Parole Growth Management Area, which Anne Arundel County designated to be given high priority for economic growth and public improvements.

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