City Paper plans to move operationsAfter a search through...

COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE

May 05, 1993|By Timothy J. Mullaney | Timothy J. Mullaney,Staff Writer

City Paper plans to move operations

After a search through Baltimore's hipper neighborhoods, the parent company of the City Paper has settled on a new home, buying an 8,000-square-foot rowhouse at 812 Park Ave.

The alternative paper will move its editorial and advertising offices from 800 N. Charles St. next month, W.C. Pinkard & Co. broker David Downey says. The deal came after an extended search that included sites in Fells Point, Charles Village, Federal Hill and Mount Washington.

"It was all in the city, but we looked at a lot of buildings for the right building with the right image," Mr. Downey said. The "right image" means they were looking for style: City Paper is a progressive-oriented free weekly known for its meditations on the fate of WHFS-FM and graffiti artists.

"We've been looking for a year. Obviously the market is prime to look," said Don Farley, general manager of the paper, which is owned by Pennsylvania-based Times/Shamrock Communications L.P. He says the search has been keyed to the June expiration of the five-year lease on the Charles Street space.

Mr. Farley says the new building once belonged to architect Steven Glassman, who renovated it extensively. The architect later sold the home, and the new owner lost it to the lender, which sold it to the paper.

"The paper has grown over the past few years, but we're not adding a lot of people or making big adjustments," Mr. Farley said. "It's just a good investment for the paper. The building is basically in move-in condition."

Dixie Printing signs 20-year lease

Dixie Printing & Packaging Corp., an Anne Arundel County manufacturer of paper cartons, has put its future in a neat little box. The company signed a 20-year, $2.5 million lease renewal on its headquarters and launched a separate expansion, in a series of moves securing 75,000 square feet of space on Baltimore-Annapolis Boulevard in Glen Burnie.

Dixie President Newth Morris says the company was already in the 40,000-square-foot building it committed to at 7358 Baltimore-Annapolis Blvd. And when it looked around at new sites, it ended up staying put.

"We did look at a couple of other things," Mr. Morris said. "The difficulty in a manufacturing situation is the cost to move and everything else. We basically went back to our landlord one last time . . . and he said, 'OK, let's talk.' "

Mr. Morris says Dixie already owned 7354 Baltimore-Annapolis Blvd. but is just beginning to occupy the building as part of the expansion. The company had previously leased out the building as surplus.

The company plans a 10,000-square-foot addition to connect the buildings. That could be built during the next year, depending on how quickly it is approved by zoning officials, he says.

"Having leased space in a variety of locations around the county, Dixie was able to consolidate into basically one location while [staying] in Anne Arundel County," said Timothy B. Hearn of MacKenzie/O'Conor Piper & Flynn Commercial Real Estate Services. He represented Dixie.

WLIF plans move to Towson Commons

On the lighter side, or maybe the lite-r side, radio station WLIF will be moving to the One West Pennsylvania office building at Towson Commons.

The station will move from Hart Road, off Providence Road in Towson, says Gail Chrzan, a broker from CB Commercial Real Estate Services Inc. who represented the station. The station's parent company, Infinity Broadcasting of Maryland, leased 8,763 square feet of space for 10 years.

Financial details of the deal weren't disclosed.

"We're just now doing the office plans, so I think it's going to be a while before we move in," said Ken Stevens, general manager of WLIF. "It will probably be a gradual process over the next six months."

Mr. Stevens says the station needed to stay in Towson to be near its Hart Road tower.

He adds that Towson Commons' restaurants and stores are geared to attract the same sort of customer WLIF is after. The target: the 25-to-54-year-old consumer, among whom the "adult contemporary" music station is the second-highest rated in Baltimore.

Construction planned for adolescent facility

The state, which continues to be a big force in the construction market, is planning a $5 million building at the Southwest Baltimore campus of the Regional Institute for Children and Adolescents.

The 49,625-square-foot building will contain clinical, academic and educational areas, says Dave Humphrey, a spokesman for the state Department of General Services. Construction is expected to begin next spring.

In the meantime, the state Board of Public Works last week gave a project design contract worth nearly $450,000 to Einhorn Yaffee Prescott of Washington, D.C.

The institute provides inpatient and outpatient care to adolescents with severe emotional problems. The Baltimore campus serves Central Maryland and the Eastern Shore. When expanded, it will be able to handle 45 residents and 60 day patients.

The state also will begin to build a dormitory at the Chapelgate Lane campus in October. That dormitory will be a series of five low-slung buildings, Mr. Humphrey says.

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