In the Region City gets 3 bids for renovating vacant...

BUSINESS DIGEST

April 13, 2001

In the Region

City gets 3 bids for renovating vacant firehouse

The former North Avenue Fire Station at 401 West North Ave. in Baltimore has attracted three proposals for redevelopment, according to Baltimore Development Corp., the city agency that solicited the bids and announced them yesterday.

A developer will be selected by summer. The bids came from Steven and Renee Scott, who proposed an engineering design lab and a residential unit; a joint venture of J. Timothy Vaeth, John Lederer, Andrea Moore-Burkert and Steven Shocket, who proposed four residential units and approximately 1,200 square feet of commercial space pre-leased by coffee shop-cafM-i "The Hidden Bean;" and the Maryland Institute College of Art, which proposed a facilities management department and maintenance shop for itself.

The property is near the Bolton Hill and Reservoir Hill neighborhoods, and the North Avenue commercial and business district. The former station of Engine No. 1 and Truck No. 11 is now vacant.

Jones Murphy ad firm wins 3 international awards

Jones Murphy Inc., a Baltimore advertising and design firm, won two silver awards and a bronze award in the recent international Summit Creative Awards competition for agencies with annual billings of $15 million or less.

The agency received silver awards in both the consumer magazine and consumer newspaper categories for print ads created for Rehoboth Outlets in Rehoboth Beach, Del., and a bronze award in the sales kits and folders category for a rate kit developed for Baltimore-based Producers Video Corp.

This year's Summit Award competition received more than 3,000 entries from Australia, Canada, Denmark, England, Italy, Ireland, Puerto Rico, Ukraine, the United States and Yugoslavia.

Columbia's Surgi-Vision moving to Gaithersburg

Surgi-Vision, Inc., which makes medical devices based on research at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, will move its headquarters today from Columbia to Gaithersburg.

The move will give the 3-year-old company three times as much space as it had in its start-up location. The company now has about 18 employees.

Surgi-Vision makes devices placed inside the body that help produce clearer, more detailed pictures for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) exams. The company has developed coils for the prostate, esophagus, urethra and veins.

Local software firm wins pact with Detroit schools

4GL School Solutions Inc., a Monkton software company, has won a $6.3 million, three-year contract with Detroit Public Schools.

The company's software gives special education teachers and administrators access to information about students in special education programs. 4GL will install the software, train administrators and manage the system in Detroit for three years.

4GL already has its software in several school districts, including Baltimore City and the District of Columbia, the company said.

Elsewhere

N.Y. Times Co. to cut staff via layoffs, buyouts

The New York Times Co., blaming a slowdown in advertising and an uncertain economic outlook, said yesterday that it would make an unspecified number of staff cuts with buyouts and layoffs.

The news came the same day Dow Jones & Co., publisher of the Wall Street Journal, also announced layoffs of 202 people, or 2 percent of its staff. Dow Jones also eliminated 300 open positions.

Catherine Mathis , a Times spokeswoman, singled out the company's online unit, which already laid off 17 percent of its staff in January, as one area sure to be affected by the new cost-cutting program. But the company declined to provide any details on the scope of the job reductions other than to say that they would occur across all of the company's business units.

Guinness strike threatens most famous Irish drink

A strike yesterday by workers at Guinness breweries throughout Ireland had pub owners and patrons alike wondering when the stocks of the country's most famous drink might run dry. The guess is, sometime next week.

More than 1,000 workers shut down plants in Dublin, Waterford, Kilkenny and Dundalk, a border town in the north where Guinness plans to close a packaging plant later this month. The strikers are demanding that the Dundalk plant remain open, saving 150 jobs.

Guinness executives suggested the closure might be delayed, but warned that if the strike goes on for long, the strikers' own jobs might be in danger. A Guinness spokesman said Guinness could lose up to $18 million in sales per week if the strike lasts more than a week.

Laid-off Cisco workers to get six months' pay

Cisco Systems Inc., the biggest maker of gear that helps to power the Internet, will offer six months of pay to laid-off employees, part of its plan to trim its work force by 5,000, or 11 percent, in the face of a U.S. economic slowdown.

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