The Social Security Administration's new Towson office at...


May 19, 1993|By Timothy J. Mullaney | Timothy J. Mullaney,Staff Writer

The Social Security Administration's new Towson office at 11 West Road will not open to the public until June 14, although the government will take possession earlier in the month, as reported in yesterday's editions.

The Sun regrets the errors.

GSA to lease space at site in Towson

The U.S. General Services Administration will lease 9,000 square feet of space at 110 West Road in Towson, a deal that begins to fill the space left by Maryland National Mortgage Corp.

Maryland National Mortgage used to occupy 20,600 square feet at the 107,400-square-foot building, which is owned by a partnership led by Clark MacKenzie, said Patricia B. Farrell, spokeswoman for Mackenzie/O'Conor Piper & Flynn Commercial Real Estate Services in Lutherville. The 10-year lease is worth $1.5 million, she said.

FOR THE RECORD - The spelling of C. William Struever has been corrected for the archive database. See microfilm for original story.

The building will be 20 percent vacant when the government moves in June 4. The Social Security Administration will move its Loch Raven office there, Ms. Farrell said.

Maryland National Mortgage consolidated the Towson office and Baltimore office at the Candler Building on Market Place downtown, leasing more than 83,000 square feet.

Some city retailers doing fine, thank you

The big stores may be concentrated in the suburbs, but downtown retailing isn't dead or even dying, a report from the Downtown Partnership says.

The partnership says 25 retail businesses have opened or expanded downtown in the last few months. Slightly more than half are restaurants. Others include major names such as Jos. A. Bank, the clothier that moved from Light Street to a larger space at 100 E. Pratt St.

The partnership believes that the opening of Oriole Park at Camden Yards, the economic recovery and the beginning of its "Clean and Safe" program have boosted downtown business. Partnership spokesman Brian Lewbart said seasonal factors may have also played a role: Spring and the holiday season are the most popular times to start a business.

Report on revitalizing downtown due in June

The deadline for the city task force report on revitalizing downtown has been pushed back to June.

"We're working on drafts of the final recommendations and finishing up research," said Bill Struever, the developer who is chairing the Schmoke administration's task force. He says Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke already has accepted some recommendations and is planning to implement them even before the report is released.

The group of about 40 members was made up mostly of business types, and their charge last summer was to find ways to implement ideas that earlier commissions had proposed for downtown. One goal was to encourage downtown living, although Baltimore Development Corp. President Honora Freeman said in August that the commission would study "a comprehensive range of development incentives."

The commission's report originally was due late last year, so that recommendations needing legislative action could be included on the city's wish list for the General Assembly session. The target date was later pushed back to March.

Rouse eyes bigger stake in Owings Mills mall

The Rouse Co. is looking to boost its stake in the Owings Mills Town Center mall, less than a year after taking full control of the White Marsh Mall from Chicago-based JMB Realty. JMB, which had been a 50 percent partner in the two malls, is one of the nation's biggest institutional real estate investment advisory firms.

JMB Executive Vice President Gary Nickele said the interests in the malls were held by JMB funds that raised money years ago, seeking capital appreciation, tax breaks and income. "Generally, the life cycle of these funds would be between 10 and 14 years," he said. Some interests were held longer, so JMB wouldn't have to liquidate them at the bottom of the real estate recession.

Rouse's investor relations director, David Tripp, said the White Marsh deal was wrapped up early this year but was not announced because the company has been involved in a campaign to buy out the interests of joint-venture partners in malls across the country.

"It's just the normal course," he said. "We've said when we raised capital that one thing we wanted to do was buy out our partners."

Mr. Tripp said Rouse is not working on any similar transactions at the company's other local malls, most of which it already owns outright.

Provident Bank building will be auctioned

A Howard Street landmark will head for the auction block June 2, as the old Provident Bank building at 240 N. Howard St. is sold by order of the bank. Melnick Auctioneers Inc. will handle the bidding, which is being advertised as an absolute auction, with no minimum bid.

Jonathan A. Melnick, president of the auction firm, said the pink-granite Howard Street building was built in 1904. The 23,000-square-foot building had an 83-foot-high dome before that space was filled in with three floors of offices. The building's replacement cost was put at $2.7 million in 1988, he said.

The bank is also selling its building at 312 N. Eutaw St. That building was Provident's operations center until 1985. The bank has sold the building twice before but each time took back a mortgage from a buyer who ultimately had to return the building to the bank, Mr. Melnick said.

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