Urban Landscape: Alex. Brown & Sons Building on the Leasing Market; Pre-leasing Center Opens for 414 Light Street; Broadway Market Building Draws One Bid

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The Alex. Brown and Sons building on E. Baltimore Street. Photo by Ed Gunts.

The Alex. Brown and Sons building, one of the few structures in downtown Baltimore that survived the 1904 fire, is available for a new use.

Cushman & Wakefield is seeking a tenant for the landmark building at 135 E. Baltimore Street. The last occupant was Capital One, which moved out in March. For most of its history, the building was the corporate headquarters of Alex. Brown and Sons, the banking firm acquired by Bankers Trust in 1997. The ownership group includes members of the Griswold family, who are descendants of Alex. Brown.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Georgian Revival-style building was designed by Harleston Parker and Douglas Thomas Jr. and completed in 1901. It was modified on the Calvert Street side and inside in 1905, while much of the downtown business district was rebuilding from the 1904 fire. Features include a banking hall with marble columns, plaster moldings and a stained-glass dome, preserved during a 1996 renovation overseen by architect Walter Schamu.

Bronwyn LeGette, a broker for the building, said the property contains 15,000 square feet of space on two levels. Cushman Wakefield is looking for one entity that could occupy the entire building, rather than multiple tenants who would want to subdivide it.

LeGette said one group has expressed interest in converting the building into a restaurant. She said it also could be renovated for some other kind of retail use that could serve residents moving into many of the former downtown office buildings that are being converted to apartments.

The surrounding area is showing signs of investment. Under construction on the same block is an office and apartment tower called One Light Street. In addition, the Rite Aid at 125 E. Baltimore Street was recently sold for $2.7 million.

“It’s a beautiful building,” LeGette said of the Alex. Brown property. “We want to find someone who has a real appreciation for historic architecture to bring it back to life.”

Pre-leasing Center Opens for 414 Light Street

Questar Properties has opened a pre-leasing center for 414 Light Street, the 44-story, 394-unit apartment tower under construction on the former site of the McCormick & Co. spice factory downtown.

The pre-leasing center is at 575 S. Charles Street, Suite 150, part of the adjacent Harbor Court property. The building will be the city’s tallest when it opens in the spring of 2018. Each of the floor plans will be named after a spice.

City Receives One Proposal for Fells Point Market

The City of Baltimore has received one development proposal for the north shed of Broadway Market in Fells Point. According to the BBJ, the bidder is a team that includes Klein Enterprises, the Dolben Co. and the Atlas Restaurant Group, and the $5 million renovation would include a 400-seat restaurant, a seafood market, a park and an amphitheater.

Atlas’ other dining spots include Ouzo Bay, Azumi and Loch Bar. A decision on whether to accept the proposal is expected later this year.

Upton Mansion Back on the Market

The Upton Mansion, for which Baltimore’s Upton community is named, is available for purchase.

Baltimore Housing’s Vacants to Value Initiative has set Sept. 27 as the deadline for proposals from teams interested in purchasing and renovating the building at 811 W. Lanvale Street.

Originally built as a residence in the 1830s, the building was later converted to a school. It has more than 10,000 square feet of interior space and a three-quarter-acre lot. The building is back on the market after a previous plan to convert it into a high-tech job training center fell through.

Wine In Line Restaurant Proposed for Biddle Street Location

Baltimore’s liquor board has received an application from a woman who wants to open a restaurant called Wine in Line at 58 W. Biddle Street. The applicant is Giselle Bella, and she is seeking to provide live entertainment in the space.

The address 58 W. Biddle Street is part of the Biddle Street Inn, known for many years as the Abacrombie Badger Bed & Breakfast. A former restaurant at the same location was called La Tesso Tana, which means The Badger’s Den.

Flex/Office Building near BWI Airport Sells for $2.3 Million

Feldman Bergin Development, in partnership with Kenwood Management Company, recently acquired 1334 Ashton Road, a single-story, 38,000 square foot flex/office building located in the Hanover section of Anne Arundel County. The price was $2.3 million.

The acquisition represents the first project for Washington, D.C.-based Feldman Bergin, an entity founded last November by Evan C. Feldman, formerly with Archstone-Smith and Washington Property Company, and Robert Bergin, previously associated with Corporate Office Properties Trust. Kenwood Management Company, based in Bethesda, Maryland, is a 20-year old commercial real estate investment and property management company.

The seller, Corporate Office Properties Trust, was represented by Cristopher Abramson of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank.

Lee & Associates Chesapeake Region is the exclusive leasing company for 1334 Ashton Road, which was built in 1989 and is currently approximately 40 percent leased and occupied. Kate Jordan and Marley Welsh will handle leasing on behalf of the brokerage firm. Jordan said the leasing team intends to market the remaining space to companies in the business services and defense contracting industries.

Baltimore In A Box is Moving to Hampden

Baltimore In A Box is moving from Highlandtown to Hampden.

The company announced it will be located at 857 W. 36th Street, starting July 1. Currently on S. Conkling Street, it sells “the gift of Baltimore in a box.”

Ed Gunts

Ed Gunts

Ed Gunts writes Urban Landscape on Mondays in the Baltimore Fishbowl. He is the former architecture critic for The Baltimore Sun.
Ed Gunts

1 COMMENT

  1. Ed, I worked in the Upton Mansion when it was the headquarters for Home and Hospital Services for the city school system. We moved out in 2006, and since then the building has been absolutely destroyed on the inside. I was there 2 years ago.
    Built it 1839 for David Stewart, we are pretty sure Robert Carey Long Jr was the architect. One of its claims to fame is that it’s the last surviving Greek Revival country villa standing in the city. The Damann family followed the Stewarts in the 1860s. In 1929 it became the headquarters for radio station WCAO and included two-150 foot towers on the property. When that station moved out, it became the site of the Baltimore Institute For Musical Arts, a music school for African Americans. This is its second claim to fame. The faculty included African American musicians as well as musicians from the BSO. For a time, it was the only accredited music school for blacks south of Juilliard in NYC. The school closed in 1955. It is one the least known institutions relating to Baltimore’s African American history. The city purchased the building and converted it to an elementary school for special education which opened in 1960 — Upton School #303. Home and Hospital Services took over the building in the 1970s and remained there until 2006 when it moved to Northwestern High School. I was at Upton from 1987-2006.

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