Hopkins to occupy part of Hampden building

Engineering school labs set for renovated space

October 02, 2001|By Meredith Cohn | Meredith Cohn,SUN STAFF

The Johns Hopkins University Whiting School of Engineering has claimed most of the remaining space in the former Kirk-Stieff Silver building undergoing renovation in Hampden, the developer and the university said.

Johns Hopkins will occupy a 1970s addition to the original factory building. It will use the space for labs, offices and possibly classrooms, said university spokesman Dennis O'Shea.

The latest lease on the $13.5 million project for about 50,000 square feet means space in the redevelopment project is nearly fully committed, and a prominent landmark in the Jones Falls Valley will be fully back in use.

"It's a diverse mix of tenants and a wonderful testament to the continuing strength of the Baltimore market," said C. William Struever, chief executive officer of Struever Bros. Eccles & Rouse, the development company.

Struever, who focuses on redevelopment of old factories, said the industrial features of the Stieff building combined with modern amenities drew tenants to the building near Druid Hill Park.

The leasing was handled by David Downey of Colliers Pinkard. Other tenants include the architectural firm Grieves, Worrall, Wright and O'Hatnick; landscape architect firm Mahan Rykiel & Associates Inc.; and nonprofit human services agencies People Encouraging People Inc. and the Parks and People Foundation. The Boy Scouts of America will open a retail store to sell uniforms and equipment on the building's first floor.

The entire project is slated for completion by the end of the year, and some tenants have moved in.

The original building at 800 Wyman Park Drive, completed in 1928 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was once the home of a prominent silversmith. But the company was bought out and moved in the late 1990s. Struever acquired the building in 2000.

Struever said construction crews found concrete silver molds during demolition, and he plans to display some of them in the lobby to maintain the building's "sense of history."

Renovations include new mechanical systems, plumbing and wiring. The sign atop the building was kept.

To provide more parking, Struever has arranged to use property across the street owned by the Boy Scouts. A lot will be designed with a plastic fabric liner and fine gravel to filter rainwater polluted by vehicles before the water enters area waterways.

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