Timonium II building is Class A all the way

Top-tier structure has risen on the site of old drive-in movie

I-83 north of Beltway

May 29, 2001|By Meredith Cohn | Meredith Cohn,SUN STAFF

Just north of the Baltimore Beltway off Interstate 83, a seven-story glass building sits on what was once the site of a drive-in movie theater.

The cars that go there now park mostly in a garage next to Timonium II, among Baltimore County's largest Class A office buildings developed in the last decade. The building was completed last year and is now mostly leased.

It appears to have good timing, developers said.

Merritt Properties LLC and Bavar Properties Group LLC, which jointly developed the project, waited about 17 years to construct the building. With its completion, they also have finished the four-building business park on the site, which will be offices for about 2,500 workers.

"We've planned this building for years," said David I. Bavar, of Bavar Properties. "We felt demand was finally here for a true Class A building."

Class A buildings are the market's finest. Timonium II has the finishes more often found in a modern downtown office building, such as a lobby atrium, a security desk and extra power and wiring.

Its design allows for 18 corner offices on each floor and five elevators, "so tenants don't have to wait more than 15 seconds," Bavar said.

As the economy begins to sag and tenants are becoming scarcer in the suburban offices, Timonium II has signed leases for about 86 percent of its 206,000 square feet of space. And there are serious prospects for another 5 percent to 6 percent, the developers said.

Merritt and Bavar have signed leases with the University of Phoenix, RDA Corp., Big Huge Games and American Express Tax and Business Services Inc., among others. Bavar maintains his offices at Timonium I, across the park.

Bavar said he believes there is still demand for top-tier space in Baltimore County. According to CoStar Group, a real estate information company, the county has about 8 million square feet of Class A office space with only about 7 percent available for lease or sublease - which is low enough to prompt other developers to build more space.

Five more buildings are under construction that will add about 425,000 square feet of Class A space to the county's market, CoStar reports.

Lynn E. Abeshouse, of Manekin Bros. Abeshouse LLC, said leasing activity in Baltimore County has slowed but remains active. And with the I-83 corridor basically built up, Timonium II attracted attention for its large blocks of space and free parking.

Abeshouse is leasing three other Class A buildings that are under construction in the county. Each is the second building in a complex in which the first was completed and leased. "There aren't many developers building space on spec," she said. "There was a void of Class A space, and Timonium II delivered at the right time to meet demand. I think the market is still there."

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