Urological association to move

Balto., Houston offices to relocate near BWI

April 03, 2002|By Meredith Cohn | Meredith Cohn,SUN STAFF

Streamlining offices, the American Urological Association Education & Research Inc. plans to consolidate its Baltimore headquarters and Houston office in a new building near Baltimore-Washington International Airport, the group said yesterday.

Groundbreaking for the headquarters building in Anne Arundel County's Hock Business Park, at Baltimore-Washington Parkway and Nursery Road in Linthicum, is set for Tuesday.

The group will move 80 workers from midtown Baltimore in 2004, with 20 more workers from its Houston office to follow.

The nonprofit AUA has been in its 1120 N. Charles St. home for 50 years. It has expanded twice - into an adjacent building to the north and into the former Miller Bros. store to the south. But it could not secure other property to keep growing, officials said.

"We're bursting at the seams," said Mike Sheppard, the association's chief operating officer. "And why the [BWI Airport] area? The reason's the obvious one: With all our volunteers throughout the U.S. and internationally, they're in and out of our office, and they need to get quickly in and out of the airport."

The association plans to build a $10 million, 84,000-square-foot building, to be ready in the first quarter of 2004, on 10 acres. The existing Baltimore offices are about 55,000 square feet.

The Houston office, about 10,500 square feet, will be sublet, the group said.

The group has not received public subsidies to move to the county, but Sheppard said association officials have asked the county for help with training Houston workers and permits for the new building.

AUA has 15,000 members around the world, Sheppard said. It provides education and other services to professionals in the field of urology, the study of the urinary tract. The 100-year-old group also produces the Journal of Urology and maintains a museum in its building open to the public.

The Baltimore building will be sold. Assessed at about $1.7 million, the building has an asking price of $3.4 million, according to the Staubach Co., hired to handle the sale.

James V. Cahill, a vice president at Staubach, said the building commands that price because it is a state-of-the-art renovation and comes with 15 off-street parking spaces. Most available buildings in the city of that size are in need of work and have no parking, Cahill said.

Not many buildings of that size in that area are listed for sale.

According to CoStar Group, a real estate information provider, there are 25 office buildings under 100,000 square feet on the market in the midtown area, and nearly all are considerably smaller than AUA's building.

Cahill said he expects another association or professional services company such as a law or architecture firm to take over the building.

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