Last week's headlines

Developers flex their plans in Baltimore area

June 22, 2008

Essex shopping to get boost

America's Realty LLC, which turns around distressed shopping centers, said it plans to buy the Diamond Plant Plaza in Essex and add big box retailers and a grocery store. Carl Verstanding, company chief executive officer, said he expects to close on the $18 million purchase of the center and 6 additional acres on Eastern Boulevard and Diamond Point Road within 60 days.

Southwest might add jets

Southwest Airlines Co., the only big U.S. carrier that's still profitable, might expand its fleet next year as competitors shrink operations to blunt surging fuel costs. The largest low-fare airline might keep as many as 10 older planes set to be retired this year and then add 14 new jets next year, Chief Executive Officer Gary C. Kelly said. Southwest is benefitting from its strategy of locking in fuel prices in advance.

Retirement TV cutting back

Retirement Living TV, the Columbia-based seniors network, has placed four shows on hiatus and laid off 47 workers, though some layoffs are expected to be temporary. Executives at the network, which launched in September 2006, say the move is typical process for a start-up television station experimenting with programming. The network is a subsidiary of the Erickson Retirement Communities.

Port Covington plan offered

Developer Struever Bros. Eccles & Rouse said it hopes to transform 17 acres in South Baltimore's Port Covington into a community that could include homes, shops and offices, along with a promenade and even a trolley. Struever Bros., working with the owner of the adjacent Tidewater Yacht Service Center, envisions a 2 million-square-foot development.

Mattress maker seeks protection

Jessup-based mattress manufacturer Dormia Inc. said that its retail operation filed for bankruptcy protection, conceding that its push to sell directly to consumers has foundered. Bankruptcy reorganization will allow the company to refocus on its wholesale business, Classic Sleep Products, which has experienced a more than 15 percent increase in mattress sales this year compared with last year.

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