Developers Plan Two New Office Projects in Baltimore

Developers plan to start work on two new office projects in Baltimore. Cross Street Partners and Merritt Properties LLC intend to bring almost 140,000 square feet of office space to the region.

Developers plan to start work on two new office projects in Baltimore. Cross Street Partners and Merritt Properties LLC intend to bring almost 140,000 square feet of office space to the region.

According to the Baltimore Business Journal, Cross Street Partners plans to redevelop Baltimore’s historic Lion Bros. building, which has been sitting vacant for more than a decade at 875 Hollins St., and turn it into offices for small entrepreneurial companies. The property has three stories and 37,500 square feet of space. It was originally constructed in 1885, and served for many years as the home of the Lion Bros. embroidery company.

Cross Street Partners expects to finish the project in the second quarter of 2016. According to a marketing flyer released by Colliers International, the redeveloped building will be LEED Gold certified, with numerous amenities, including parking for 20 cars.

The Baltimore Business Journal also reported that Merritt Properties plans to build a 100,000-square-foot office tower in Canton. Melissa Teague, the company’s spokeswoman, told the Baltimore Business Journal that the office tower would be phase two of a larger project.

Phase one calls for the construction of a seven-level parking garage on Boston Street. Merritt plans to start work on it later this year, and expects construction to take about 12 months. Once this phase is complete, the company will assess the office demand in the area and decide whether or not to start work on the office tower.

In a recently released report, DTZ said that the Greater Baltimore office market experienced 224,235 square feet of net positive absorption in the first three months of the year. As a result, the region’s office vacancy rate dropped, reaching 15.63 percent at the end of Q1 2015. DTZ expects this decline to continue and said that Baltimore could see an office vacancy of close to 13 percent by the end of the year. Although rents have remained steady during the first quarter, they should rise over the next 12 to 24 months, due to the tightening supply and consistent demand.

Charts courtesy of DTZ.