Mill owners expect to have tenant soon to allow conversion )) to office, retail use

COMMERCIAL REALTY NOTES

February 26, 1992|By Edward Gunts | Edward Gunts,Staff Writer

Owners of the Mount Washington Mill say they are close to landing a tenant that will enable them to start converting the mill to an office and retail complex with nearly 80,000 square feet of leasable space.

Developer Samuel Himmelrich Jr. of Himmelrich Associates told city officials this month the Maryland Institute College of Art is a possible tenant for his $3 million development at 1330 to 1430 Smith Avenue.

Mr. Himmelrich said the college has been looking for a new site for its School of Continuing Studies, which draws many students from the suburbs around Baltimore. He said it has been considering leasing space on the first level of the "forge building" that is slated for rehabilitation to supplement the facilities it has in Bolton Hill and the Columbia Arts Center.

Director of continuing studies Mark Neustadt confirmed that the college has been exploring expansion sites and that officials are interested in the mill property. Another possible site is the former Hutzler's department store in Towson, according to a local group that is exploring plans to convert that building into an arts center.

Himmelrich Associates gained control of the property in 1989 and announced plans to convert it to a business park in phases.

Because the land is zoned for industrial use, Mr. Himmelrich said, his group is seeking passage of city legislation that will enable it to carry out the project as a "planned unit development." The developers also are seeking passage of legislation that would enable it to have up to 6,000 square feet of retail space.

Built between 1808 and the 1950s, the vacant mill is the oldest surviving cotton mill in Maryland. Mr. Himmelrich said he could not identify any other prospective tenants but hopes he will reach agreement with one or more of them soon. Once an agreement is reached, he explained, work will begin on the restoration of the space the tenant will occupy.

Werner Mueller of Atelier Three Architects is the designer for the project, and Nationsbank is the lender.

Mr. Himmelrich said the mill has drawn a good deal of interest. "This project has all the advantages of suburban office space with none of the image problems typically associated with suburbia," he said.

Belvedere Hotel

Restaurateur Dion M. Dorizas last week received conditional approval from the state Board of Liquor License Commissioners for Baltimore for a liquor license for three bars or restaurants in the former Belvedere Hotel.

According to testimony before the board, Mr. Dorizas and his partners agreed to pay $425,000 for the John Eager Howard Room and $215,000 for the lounge on the 13th floor, which will be renamed the Skyline Cafe. Mr. Dorizas said he hopes to reopen the Owl Bar and the Skyline Cafe by April 1. He plans to open a new operation called Dunhill's Grill in the John Eager Howard Room about a month later.

Friends School

Friends School of Baltimore has launched a $1.5 million fund-raising campaign, its most ambitious ever, to help pay for four projects: Increased endowment; paying for recent expansion of the school's pre-primary and lower school divisions; construction of a music education wing; and development of an additional athletic field.

Founded in 1784 and located at 5114 N. Charles Street, Friends is an independent Quaker school for students from age four to grade 12. James L. Zamoiski is chairman of the campaign, and Timothy R. Hearn is vice chairman. They hope to meet their goal by June of 1992.

Around the region

* The George Hyman Construction Co. of Bethesda has been named lead contractor of the $675 million expansion of Chicago's McCormick Place convention center. The project is the largest public works project in Chicago's history and marks Hyman's entry into that market. Hyman is working with Stein & Co. of Chicago.

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