Knox to move headquarters from Mount Vernon to Canton

Financial group to add 85 jobs in six months

January 25, 2002|By Gus G. Sentementes | Gus G. Sentementes,SUN STAFF

The Knox Financial Group, a Baltimore-based residential mortgage loan company, will move its headquarters from downtown to the American Can Co. in Canton, and add 85 jobs over the next six months.

Knox, which owns and operates a building in Mount Vernon, signed a five-year lease and will move into the second and third floors of American Can's signature building on March 22, said Julie C. Martin, Knox's chief financial officer yesterday. The total space is 25,550 square feet, she said.

Knox operates in 13 states and has 120 workers in Baltimore, she said. The company will hire in positions ranging from certified public accountant and attorney to compliance and administration, Knox officials said.

The American Can Co. building on Boston Street is "very contemporary and has an energetic feel to it, which matches the corporate culture that we have," Martin said. "We've outgrown [the Mount Vernon] building."

Owned by Baltimore developer Struever Bros. Eccles & Rouse Inc., the 200,000-square-foot Class-A office and retail complex by the Canton waterfront has weathered the come-and-go of tenants such as Web-marketer Gr8 LLC and a Bibelot book store, both of which went bankrupt.

Bill Struever, founder and chief executive of Struever Bros., said the building is fully leased. Other tenants, Struever said, include DAP Inc., a large caulking and adhesive company, HealthObjects, a healthcare industry software company, and the Emerging Technology Center, an incubator for start-up firms. The Book Market, a discount book seller that took over after Bibelot left, extended its lease through the end of May, the developer said.

"We're excited about Knox because it's a fast-growing, locally headquartered business," Struever said. "It's particularly encouraging in this economy to see the diverse and vigorous activity continuing."

Martin, Knox's chief operating officer, said the company's lease payment is roughly $30,000 a month - or $360,000 annually. That works out to about $14 per square foot, which is a bargain when compared to downtown commercial lease rates that range typically between $24 to $30 per square foot.

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