Office Products of America Inc., a San Antonio-based company that operates the fast-growing Office Stop chain of office-supply stores, will open two more local branches Oct. 18 at the former Rickel Home Center outlets at 7313 Ritchie Highway and near Towson Marketplace at Joppa Road and Goucher Boulevard.
The openings come less than a year after Office Products opened its first local store in a 30,000-square-foot space at Eastpoint Mall. They are a sign of the emergence of the office-supply business and the retraction of the do-it-yourself home-improvement-center business, said Neil Tucker of Coldwell Banker Commercial Real Estate Services.
The Office Stop location in Towson has 45,588 square feet of space, and the Ritchie Highway location has 50,492 square feet. Mr. Tucker and Tom Maddux of Coldwell Banker represented Office Stop in negotiations with the landlord, Vornado Corp. of New Jersey.
Nottingham Properties Inc., the master developer of White Marsh, broke ground recently for the first phase of its newest commercial project, Tyler Ridge.
Designed by Hofmann and Associates for 10.63 acres along ZTC Corporate Drive in the White Marsh Business Community, Tyler Ridge initially will consist of three single-story buildings with a total of 80,000 square feet of office and "flex" space.
That first phase eventually could be expanded to include up to 325,000 square feet on 30 acres. Tyler Ridge's first occupants include Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Co., which is building a central switching facility, and Allstate Insurance, which plans to occupy 18,000 square feet of office space.
Around the region:
* Friends School of Baltimore, 5114 N. Charles St., will mark the completion of its new lower school building additions with a celebration Saturday starting at 9:30 a.m. Designed by Richter Cornbrooks Gribble Inc., the $1.5 million project includes a three-story brick classroom and administrative building, a glass-enclosed multipurpose room, an expanded health suite and an enlarged library and computer room. Robert K. Berger Associates was the general contractor.
* The Accountant Advisory Board of the University of Baltimore's Merrick School of Business is hosting a free panel discussion on today's real estate and banking environment Oct. 24 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., at Poe's Publick House, inside the University's Law Center at Maryland and Mount Royal avenues.
Panelists will include Richard Alter, president of the Manekin Corp.; Carl Stearn, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Provident Bank of Maryland, Tom Scott, executive vice president of Signet Bank, and John A. Luetkemeyer, president of Continental Realty Corp. George Stamas, partner of Piper and Marbury, will be the moderator. More information is available from the university at 625-3256.
* The Perpetual Title Building, a three-story building at 7 E. Franklin St., failed to sell at auction yesterday when the top bid was $190,000. Perpetual Title Co. is selling the building because it has moved.
A.J. Billig and Co. was the auctioneer.
* Oct. 24 is the grand opening date for Pier 500, the restaurant Connie Crabtree is operating in the HarborView yacht club and sales center at 500 HarborView Drive.