Frederick County Announces the 2020 Frederick Real Estate Dealmakers Awards

The Frederick County Office of Economic Development recognized the most impactful commercial real estate deals of 2019 last evening. The fourth annual Frederick Real Estate Dealmakers (FRED) Awards, virtually hosted by OED, honored the most successful commercial real estate transactions and projects of 2019 – and the people who made them happen.

In addition to project awards, special recognition was given to those commercial real estate professionals who stood out in 2019 with their achievements as Emerging Dealmaker of the Year, Dealmaker of the Year and for their overall contributions in a Lifetime Achievement Award.

“Frederick County soared to new heights in 2019 and that is due in large part to all the countless hours, days, weeks and even months of hard work that goes into the projects we are celebrating this evening.  Congratulations to the talented people who turn a concept into a reality, craft the deal, design and build the spaces.  I applaud the work of our commercial real estate agents, brokers, developers, our architects, engineers, contractors, and property owners for contributing to the success of Frederick County.  You worked hard in 2019 and continue to work hard today,” said Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner.

The award ceremony also presented the Most Valuable Partner Award to acknowledge an economic development partner whose hard work is setting Frederick County apart from other locations.  The MVP provides exceptional and highly responsive solutions within their organizations and shares our commitment to excellence and outstanding customer service. 

“Each year the FRED Awards honor the most successful commercial real estate transactions and projects, just being a finalist is a big accomplishment with all the outstanding projects we’ve worked on.  These are the people who work tenaciously each day to make the deals that bring new businesses, additional opportunities and make Frederick County the best place in the world to do business,” said Helen Propheter, director of the Frederick County Office of Economic and Workforce Development.

Award Winners

Deal of the Year

The Kroger Co. High-Tech Customer Fulfillment Center

Kroger Family of Companies purchased land in Frederick, MD to revitalize a vacant distribution facility and also construct an industry-leading High-Tech Customer Fulfillment Center (CFC). This CFC will be a key component of the seamless fulfillment ecosystem Kroger is developing for customers across the U.S. and will create 500 jobs.

Key Players: Rita Williams, The Kroger Co.- Purchaser; Todd Hughes, JLL - Purchaser Rep; Kevin Kleinchester, The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company; Jeff Harbold, Providence Engineering; Michael Gesell, Bohler; Morgan Hawker, Luckett and Farley; Timothy Osborne, Paragon Engineering Services; Tim Dickinson, Ocado Solutions

Most Creative Deal

Warehouse Cinemas

The Warehouse Cinemas project features the renovation of a former cinema space in a vacant shopping center along the Golden Mile. This project adds exciting elements to the traditional cinema experience and represents great community partnerships with local breweries and distilleries.

Key Players: Tony Checchia, VCRE, Tenant Rep; Coldwell Banker Commercial, Landlord Rep; Rich Daughtridge, Greg Mills, HighRock Group, Owner

Most Valuable Partner

Division of Planning and Permitting and the Division of Utilities and Solid Waste Management for Fast Track Permitting

Fast Track Permitting is economic development tool to expedite projects through the development process while adhering to all established standards.

Modern Masterpiece Award

The Bottling Plant

The revitalization of the Coca-Cola plant transformed an abandoned structure into a vibrant mixed-use development while preserving the existing facade. The resulting development includes nearly 115,000 sf of residential space and over 9,000 square feet of retail space and pays tribute to the city’s local history and industrial roots as it integrates its past with its future.

Key Players: K. David Meit, Oculus Realty LLC, Owner/Property Manager; Tricia Beisler, Catoctin Overlook LLC, Owner/Developer; Jeff Gross, Brick Lane,Owner/ Developer, Richard Conrath, GTM Architects, Architect; Jeff Klutzz & Bryan Adgate, Morgan-Keller Construction, General Contractor; Seth Glinski, ReVite Construction Management, Construction Manager

Dealmaker of the Year

Seamus Fitzgerald, Fitzgerald Realty Group

Seamus has strong roots in the Frederick community. As Executive Vice President, Seamus has been an integral part of the Fitzgerald Realty Group’s success for the past 15 years. Seamus has deep experience in commercial sales and leasing, real estate consulting, land brokerage and development, and tenant representation. He’s negotiated scores of successful agreements across a wide array of commercial real estate assets. During 2019 Seamus completed the State Farm campus sale and 10 other deals.

Lifetime Achievement Award

Jim Fitzgerald, Fitzgerald Realty Group

Jim Fitzgerald is a prominent member of the community, and is a visionary who has assisted in developing the commercial landscape in Frederick County since 1976. His Motto is "Make No Small Plans" and he lives by that motto in everything he does. Jim never stops working, not only to grow his own business, but also to accommodate his client’s needs of becoming successful by making their dreams a reality. Some of Jim’s accomplishments include the Walgreens drug stores in, the development of Thomas Johnson Drive, East Street Trading Center, Holly Ridge and Retreat Road, just to name a few. He has been instrumental in making Frederick one of the best places to live in America through his personal efforts.

Emerging Dealmaker of the Year

Chris Kline, Jr., Frederick Commercial Real EState

Chris Kline Jr. started his own firm in 2019 and hit the ground running. He is an active member of Rotary Club of Carroll Creek, on the Downtown Frederick Partnership Board, Heartly House Board, President of East Frederick Rising, and a “Big Brother” mentor for many years. In 2019, he completed multiple transactions with a value over $13 million.

Sponsors of the evening’s event included: FCB Bank and Frederick Magazine

For more information about the Frederick County Office of Economic Development and the FRED Awards, please call 301-600-1058 or visit

To See All the Nominees