Candler Building lease is year's biggest

September 02, 1992|By Timothy J. Mullaney | Timothy J. Mullaney,Staff Writer

Maryland National Mortgage Corp. agreed Monday to lease more than 83,000 square feet of office space at the Candler Building at 111 Market Place.

It was the Baltimore area's biggest private-sector office lease of the year and the biggest downtown since 1989.

The 10-year deal, announced yesterday, brings the occupancy of the renovated former Coca-Cola warehouse to more than 70 percent and puts the project more solidly in the black.

"On an operating basis, we do better than break even," said Thomas Ragno, director of leasing for Beacon Management Co., which manages Candler for GE Investments, an in-house adviser to General Electric Co.'s pension fund. "This will reinforce people's image of the building as a great building at a good price."

"That [occupancy] probably stabilizes the Candler Building for the next 10 years or so," said David Downey, a broker for W. C. Pinkard & Co., who represented Maryland National Mortgage. "Perceptions of the building were totally different than what Beacon has done to the building."

Neither side would say how much Maryland National Mortgage would pay for the space. The building was built to be a Coca-Cola bottling warehouse in 1911 and was the original home of the Social Security Administration in the 1930s. GE bought it in the mid-1980s and opened the renovated building in late 1989.

"They [Maryland National Mortgage] clearly weren't going to move into any second-class building," Mr. Ragno said. "They liked the fact that GE has a long-term view for the property and the ability to maintain its position. They know a bank is not going to be taking control of this building."

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