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For Government Contractors, Success ‘Hinges’ on Locating at The GATE

June 2013
St. John Properties has exclusive development rights for The GATE at APG.

St. John Properties has exclusive development rights for The GATE at APG.

You’re familiar with the saying that the three most important things in real estate are location, location, location. That’s clearly true in the case of The GATE at APG, a 416-acre, state-of-the-art office and technology business park constructed by St. John Properties inside Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG).

The Government and Technology Enterprise (The GATE at APG), located immediately inside the main entrance to APG, was designed to provide a synergistic environment for firms, defense contractors, and other Army and Department of Defense units working on activities to complement the mission of APG.

In less than four years since June 2009, when St. John Properties was assigned exclusive development rights for The GATE under an Enhanced Use Lease (EUL) approved by the Department of the Army, the Baltimore-based commercial real estate company has constructed 12 buildings totaling over 750,000 square feet of space.

St. John Properties, established in 1971, has developed and manages a commercial real estate portfolio of approximately 17 million square feet of business property in seven states. The firm has extensive experience in serving the leasing needs of defense contractors and government tenants.

The GATE holds the potential for two to three million square feet of space on final buildout, including single and multi story Class “A” office, plus R&D/flex and retail. Buildings are constructed to meet stringent APG specifications and tenant requirements, and to achieve LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification.

The GATE’s unique location inside APG makes it the hub of the government contracting community that supports the installation’s various commands. To date more than 40 tenants have chosen The GATE as their base of business, including Boeing, CACI, CSC, Engility, General Dynamics, Harris, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, SAIC and others.

It’s no secret why so many tenants choose to locate at The GATE. The location offers unequaled proximity to federal customers, an ultra-secure campus and buildings that achieve federal anti-terrorism/force protection requirements. GATE tenants also enjoy access to a highly secure IT network.

Despite completion of BRAC and the fiscal challenges in today’s economy, St. John Properties is still seeing a large volume of leasing activity, due to The GATE’s strategic location and proximity to federal customers. “We’re optimistic in our forecasting and are continuing to build on speculative basis, in anticipation of future demand. Leasing activity is still strong with tenants seeking a presence inside the fenceline at APG,” said Rick Williamson, Senior Vice President of Leasing at St. John Properties.

“Our presence at The GATE provides a convenience for us and our customers,” said Mike Seldes, executive director of the Defense Solutions division for ACET. “It’s a statement from our company that we are committed to supporting our customers at Aberdeen, and that we intend to be here for a while.”

Partnerships and relationships that St. John Properties has had with Harford County, the City of Aberdeen and APG have been essential to helping The GATE realize its remarkable potential. A portion of revenue from leases at The GATE is returned directly to APG, so the garrison benefits from the project’s success.

For more information about The GATE, visit