Business Notes: New Permit Fees; Carr Signs Second Tenant
Plus: Rockville video game producer creates mobile hit; Bethesda and Rockville accounting firms announce merger
The Carr Properties building at 4500 East West Highway in Bethesda
Carr signs new tenant at 4500 East West Highway building
The new Bethesda office building developed by Carr Properties on East West Highway has a second tenant, according to the subscription-only Montgomery Newsletter. The real estate publication reports Carr has signed Teaching Strategies LLC, an early childhood education company, to lease about 28,000 square feet in the building. Teaching Strategies reportedly considered both Bethesda and Arlington, but settled on Bethesda with the help of a $300,000 loan from the state and a $150,000 conditional grant from the county’s Economic Development Fund, reports the newsletter. Carr also signed Rapid Advance to a lease at the building in October.
New permit fees go into effect this month
Montgomery County’s Department of Permitting Services is shifting to a new fee structure that will base fees for building permits on per-square-foot rates. The new fees go into effect July 1. The fee for residential buildings is primarily 71 cents per square foot, while commercial buildings will be generally charged $1.19 per square foot. The rates differ for residential buildings measuring over 5,000 square feet and commercial buildings over 500,000 square feet. The department has posted a full list of the rates on its website. The new fee structure is expected to result in a $5 million decrease in revenue for the permitting services department, which plans to supplement its reduced funds by dipping into the department’s reserves, according to the county. The changes were made to streamline the permitting process to make it easier for builders to navigate, according to the county.
Bethesda Softworks’ first mobile game hits No. 1 in App Store
Bethesda Softworks, the Rockville-based video game producer, has created a hit with its first-ever mobile phone game—Fallout Shelter. The new app, which was released earlier this month rose to No. 1 on Apple’s App Store website shortly after it was released. More than 70 million users have downloaded the game. The game enables players to set up an underground bunker after a nuclear attack. Todd Howard, the game’s creator, told The Washington Post last week that the company is surprised by the app’s success, but said the development team’s goal was “to treat the audience with respect. We did it the way we wanted to be treated.”
Bethesda accounting firm Romano & Mitchell merges with Dembo Jones
The accounting firm Romano & Mitchell will merge July 1 with the operations of Rockville-based Dembo Jones and the merged company will be called Dembo Jones, according to the companies. Romano & Mitchell has provided local accounting services for the past 30 years and will continue to service its existing clients, but will be based at Dembo’s offices at 6010 Executive Blvd., Rockville. The combined firm will offer accounting, auditing, tax and consulting services.
Three local projects receive energy efficiency rebates and incentives
Green Generation Solutions announced this month it has secured grants from the Maryland Energy Administration as well as rebates from Pepco to help three local commercial buildings upgrade their energy efficiency. Maplewood Park Place in Bethesda received a $500,000 grant, Washington Hebrew Congregation Julia Bindeman Suburban Center in Potomac received $198,545 and Shady Grove Medical Village II in Rockville received $96,283.
Bethesda business leader publishes book about importance of women in the workplace
Bethesda resident and local business leader John Keyser has published a new book, Make Way for Women, in which he profiles 45 male and female business leaders who talk about the benefits of installing women in business leadership positions. Keyser, the CEO of Common Sense Leadership, has previously worked for insurance companies such as Johnson & Higgins and March & McLennan as well as the Georgetown University Medical Center.