Industrial park signs first tenant

BUSINESS DIGEST

October 07, 2005|By LORRAINE MIRABELLA | LORRAINE MIRABELLA,SUN REPORTER

The Baltimore branch of a national relocation services company will become the first tenant in a 1,000-acre office and industrial park being built on Baltimore County's largest undeveloped chunk of commercial land.

First Industrial Realty Trust Inc., one of the developers of the $500 million Baltimore Crossroads@95, said yesterday that it has signed a lease with Alexander's Mobility Services for 130,000 square feet of office/warehouse space and will start constructing the single-story building later this month.

The warehouse will be the first building in a project that over the next decade is planned for 5 million square feet of office, flex/office, warehouse and industrial space, some 400,000 square feet of stores and two hotels with 300 rooms. St. John Properties, working with First Industrial, is building the office portion of the project, located between White Marsh and the Baltimore County waterfront.

The park's developers, as well as Baltimore County officials and economic development experts, expect the park to lure pharmaceutical and other technology employers to the region and replace thousands of lost manufacturing jobs. To spur development, Baltimore County and the state are extending Route 43 almost four miles from White Marsh at U.S. 40 to Eastern Boulevard at Middle River. The extension, designed to ease access from the northern and eastern sections of Baltimore County, should be completed next summer.

Mark McConnell, regional director for First Industrial, said interest from the business community has been brisk.

"This inaugural lease at Baltimore Crossroads @95 provides us with the ability to deliver our first building at the park and sets the stage for additional leasing activity," McConnell said.

Alexander's Mobility, which helps relocate corporations, individuals and government agencies, will move from a warehouse in White Marsh, where it occupies more than 86,000 square feet and has 125 to 150 workers, including full-time, part-time and contractual drivers.

Pam Dem-Hergen, Alexander's marketing manager, said the company was seeking larger quarters and wanted to stay in the White Marsh area, near many of its customers and close to Interstate 95.

"The new Baltimore Crossroads will be a wonderful opportunity for us to be in a larger facility and to be very convenient for our drivers," Dem-Hergen said. As the project's first tenant, "we'll be able to be a part of the growth going forward. It's not often there is a new development of this scale to have the opportunity to grow our business as they're growing the rest of the facility."

lorraine.mirabella@baltsun.com

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