The new McCormick & Co. headquarters officially opened this week in Sparks with some of the features that were popular at the firm's old spice factory in downtown Baltimore.
While the $13 million headquarters is a modern, three-story structure with two levels of underground parking, the spice company's famous Elizabethan-style Tea House and the murals of Baltimore artist Edwin Tunis, painted during the 1920s, are part of the new interior.
Both were removed from the McCormick spice factory on Light Street before it was demolished in 1989. They were installed in the Sparks location earlier this year.
Although the Tea House has been a popular spot for thousands of visitors over the years, McCormick officials say they will no longer offer public tours of the facility. The Tea House will be available only for those conducting business at McCormick.
The tours are being abandoned because the headquarters does not include the production facilities that were part of the downtown tour, said Mac Barrett, a spokesman for McCormick.
Production is handled at several locations in Hunt Valley where the company still leases space. Approximately 200 corporate-level employees have moved to the Sparks location from the Executive Plaza One building in Hunt Valley, where the company leased six floors.
The new building was constructed on 12 acres of a 48-acre tract at Loveton Center, a 200-acre business park just west of York Road at Loveton Circle. The fact that the company owns both the land and the building at Loveton made the project "more efficient," said Barrett.
The 91,000-square-foot office structure was designed by Baltimore-based Gaudreau Inc.
The Sparks building represents the third company headquarters for McCormick, which was established in 1889 in downtown Baltimore. The company moved its corporate offices to Hunt Valley in the 1960s.
The following leasing transactions were announced by CB Commercial Real Estate Group Inc.:
* The United Negro College Fund leased 1,295 square feet at The Offices at the Brokerage, 34 Market Place. BA Properties is the landlord.
* North Atlantic Industries Systems has leased 25,000 square feet at 7125 Riverwood Drive in Columbia. Columbia Commercial Development is the landlord.
* The Kennedy Institute has leased 2,269 square feet at the Galleria Towers at 1447 York Road in Lutherville.
The following leasing transactions occurred at properties owned Siena Corp., an area developer of office, industrial and commercial projects:
* Dr. Reynoldo O. Guzman has leased 1,196 square feet at Plumtree Professional Center at 104 Plumtree Road. Rice Kern Smith Realty Inc. handled the transaction for the tenant.
* The Chapman Companies Inc., a cleaning service and supply company, has leased 3,150 square feet at West Nursery Business Center at 1025 West Nursery Road.
* American Olean Tile Co. has leased 6,000 square feet at the Washington Commerce Center on Hubbard Road for use as a ceramic tiles sales center and showroom. CB Commercial represented the tenant.
* JWP Memory Systems, a distributor of computers and computer equipment, has leased 6,000 square feet of warehouse space at the Washington Commerce Center on Hubbard Road.