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Morgan State plots $149 million campus expansion

Morgan State University is undergoing a major expansion of its campus in northeast Baltimore, on property it owns at Hillen Road and Argonne Drive. The new west campus will contain the long-awaited Earl G. Graves School of Business and Management, opening in 2015, and the Behavioral and Social Sciences Center, to open in 2017. Together, the two buildings cost around $149 million.
An undetermined amount of funding is being sought for a third building and parking garage on the site, according to Cynthia Wilder, a Morgan State planner. Morgan State owns more than 170 acres, of which 143 acres constitute the main campus for its approximately 8,000 students.

The expansion is taking place on nine Morgan State-owned acres on the west side of the main campus. Part of the property is occupied by the Northwood Shopping Center, although Wilder didn’t have an acreage breakdown. The shopping center will remain and the Morgan State buildings will be built next to it. A bridge across Argonne Drive will connect the West Campus to the main campus.
“The main campus is filled and we had no option but to look elsewhere to replace facilities that can’t serve what we need,” she says. The new business school will have a trading simulation hall like that of the New York Stock Exchange and offer more hands-on instruction. The social sciences center will contain demonstration spaces, observation rooms and a forensic anthropology laboratory.
Wilder says Morgan State’s business programs are held in a building on campus, McMechen Hall, and will be consolidated in the new business school, which will house management, accounting, hospitality and marketing. The 140,000-square-foot business school cost $82 million, of which the state funded $81 million and Morgan State the rest.
The design process has begun for the Behavioral and Social Sciences Center, a 125,000 square foot facility that will house classes now being held in the circa 1974 Jenkins Hall. Construction will begin in 2015 and the center will open in 2017. The state will issue bonds to pay for the approximately $67 million project, Wilder says.
Wilder says that both the business school and social sciences center will be green buildings, the LEED certification level still to be determined. 
Source: Cynthia Wilder, Morgan State University
Writer: Barbara Pash

Rendering of Morgan State University Earl G. Graves School of Business and Management courtesy of Ayers Saint Gross / KPF Associated Architects. 

Boordy Vineyards uncorks new winemaking building

Boordy Vineyards toasted the opening of its new $3 million winemaking facility this month, which it's billing as the largest project in its 68-year history.  
The 11,500-square-foot building in Hydes is composed of a main production facility, a laboratory, two wine-storage warehouses, a bottling room and a room for shipping wine. 
The additional space allows the Baltimore County vineyard to increase production by about 62,000 gallons, to a total of 170,190 gallons. It also allows for more quality control of the fermentation process, says Boordy Vineyards’ Phineas Deford.
The new building is located adjacent to the barn that Boordy Vineyards has been using to produce their wines for 34 years. The barn did not allow for a temperature control during the winemaking process, which is a feature of the new building. The previously used barn will be converted into a barrel cellar.
Boordy Vineyards will offer tours twice a day, seven days a week, and President Robert Deford says that they will allow guests to tour the facility, as long as the winemaking process is not underway. The winery receives 60,000 visitors per year, making it one of the top tourist attractions in the county. 
Vineyard staff has worked to match the architecture of the new facilities with the old buildings on its 240 acres of farmland.
“Building a building here of this sort is actually a real responsibility, an aesthetic responsibility, in that it’s going to be here for a long time and we felt that it had to reflect and harmonize with traditional architecture,” Deford says.
Boordy Vineyards has also made the building environmentally sound with the roofs facing south so that solar cells can be added once the construction is complete.

Boordy produces a number of white and red varietals, including chardonnay, pinot grigio, merlot and shiraz. The expansion was funded with Boordy's own money and bank loans.

Writer: Daryl Hale
Source: Robert and Phineas Deford

D.C. developer constructing 150-unit apartment building in Mount Vernon

An eight-story building with 150 rental apartments and ground-floor retail is coming to 814 North Charles St. in Mount Vernon. Washington, D.C., developer Gould Property Company is constructing the $30 million project on the site of a surface PMI parking lot that it owns.
Joel Cherington, a consultant to Gould, says construction on the 20,000-square-foot building will begin in February and finish within 18 months. The one- and two-bedroom apartments will be offered at market rate, currently in the $1,400 to $2,600 range for the area.
The developer is targeting young professionals with amenities like squash courts and an indoor pool. Mount Vernon has seen a flurry of new residential and retail development as enrollment grows at the University of Baltimore
The building, so far unnamed, is located at the corner of North Charles and Read streets. It is located a half-block north of Mount Vernon Square, and a block-and-a-half from the Washington Monument. It will be built of concrete and glass, with an eco-friendly “green” roof and a LEED certification of silver at the minimum, according to Walter Schamu, president of SMG Architects, the Baltimore firm that will design it.
There is space on the street level for retail. Cherington says the developer hopes to attract a restaurant and two other tenants. There will be seven stories of apartments and three levels of underground parking to accommodate 150 cars.
Earlier this month, the city's Commission on Historical and Architectural Preservation approved the Charles Street building, says Tom Liebel, commission chair and a principal with Marks, Thomas Architects. Liebel says the Mount Vernon-Belvedere Association, the local community group, ALSO supports the project.
Sources: Joel Cherington, Gould Property Co.; Walter Schamu, SMG Architects; Tom Liebel, Commission on Historical and Architectural Preservation
Writer: Barbara Pash

Fells Point architecture firm designing green roof for $10M Riverside Wharf project

Urban Design Group LLC  is going green for the Riverside Wharf project in South Baltimore. The sustainable architectural firm in Fells Point has designed a green roof for the building, the first project under Baltimore’s Key Highway South Urban Renewal Plan.

Urban Design Group is bringing sustainable measures to two other high-profile projects in Baltimore: the new Merchant Point townhomes in Fells Point and the renovation of the Inner Harbor's World Trade Center, which will be done this year.
Urban Design President Michael Burton says he expects the $10 million Riverside Wharf project to be done in 2014. Caves Valley Partners is developing the former industrial site located along Key Highway at Lawrence Street into a 100,000-square-foot, three-story building with parking garage.
On the main floor, Walgreens drugstore will occupy 14,000 square feet along with other retailers; the upper two floors have 31,000 square feet of office space; a parking garage accounts for the remaining space.

He says the green roof will enable the building to comply with Baltimore’s green building standards and the state’s storm water management regulations.
Passed by the City Council in 2007, green building standards apply to new and existing commercial and multi-family residences over 10,000 square feet.

For the almost 8,000-square-foot green roof, a layer of soil and plants that can withstand weather and wind is laid on top of a drainage system. “The building occupies an entire city block. You’ve got to find a way to deal with storm water management,” says Burton.

Merchant Point involves the conversion of a church into a private school and office space, an existing building into offices and 18 new rowhouses. Located at the intersection of South Ann and Aliceanna streets, the townhomes will be ready this summer and are sold out. Urban Design Group used sustainable construction material and created an urban garden to meet the city’s green building standards.
The Maryland Port Authority awarded a contract to Pepco Energy Services to install energy-efficiency measures in several buildings, including the 40-year-old, 30-story World Trade Center.
Urban Design Group designed a geothermal system for the building’s mechanical systems. The system pumps water from the Inner Harbor through the building’s mechanical systems. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and federal Environmental Protection Agency had to approve the design.
Burton founded Urban Design Group in 2009. In 2011, the company moved into the incubator, Emerging Technology Center at Canton. Last February, the company graduated from the incubator and moved to an office in Fells Point.
During its time in the incubator, revenue tripled to over $1 million in 2013 and the staff doubled to nine. Urban Design Group is looking to hire a project manager.
Source: Michael Burton, Urban Design Group
Writer: Barbara Pash; [email protected]

Canton Ace to Open in September

DIY home improvement enthusiasts in Canton don't have much longer to wait for their new hardware store.
Canton Ace Hardware will open in mid-September at 1001 S. Lakewood Ave., following an investment of as much as $800,000 from owners, says Rachel Machacek, a spokeswoman for Ace Hardware in Greater Baltimore. The store will be located across the street from the Canton Safeway. 
Co-owners Gina Schaefer and Marc Friedman invested between $600,000 and $800,000 to open and renovate the 11,000-square-foot space. Schaefer and Friedman own seven other Ace stores in Baltimore and Washington, including locations in Waverly and Federal Hill. 
While the space was close to move-in ready, the company did complete some renovations, including adding a new HVAC system, new offices and lighting.
Canton attracted the owners because of its walkability, neighborhood feel, and its proximity to independent shops and restaurants. The company wants local residents to have a shop in the neighrborhood for their home improvement needs without having to get into the car and make a lengthy drive, Machacek says.
The store will look to employ 15 workers initially, Machacek says.
The store will sell a variety of products including basic hardware, housewares, lawn and garden supplies, patio furniture, and more. And, you can bring your dog there. 
As part of the national Ace Hardware co-operative, the stores are locally owned establishments that bring jobs and business to the local economy, Machacek says.
Source: Rachel Machacek, communications manager, A Few Cool Hardware Stores
Writer: Alexandra Wilding, [email protected]

Chesapeake Bay Trust To Award Green Grants

The Chesapeake Bay Trust is considering applications from towns and cities in Maryland and neighboring states to spur economic development, energy efficiency and sustainable communities. The trust is awarding a total of $400,000 in environmental grants to the Free State and Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware, West Virginia and Washington, D.C. 
The grants are for a program called Green Streets-Green Jobs-Green Towns. The program was introduced in 2011, a partnership of the trust, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the state of Maryland.
This year’s funding more than doubles the amount available in 2011, when 10 cities and towns received grants from $25,000 to $35,000 each for their projects. A maximum of $100,000 may be awarded for a project.
Janna Davis, the trust’s acting executive director, expects to award eight to 12 grants in 2012, depending on the amount requested for the project. The winning projects will be based on EPA criteria.
Previous projects ranged from storm water improvement to local roadways, planting trees and creating rain gardens, using energy efficient sources for street lighting, instituting recycling measures and creating and training people in green jobs.
“We want people trained in green jobs so they can then become the experts” in that field, says Davis.
The grant program is open to local governments and nonprofit organizations in urban and suburban communities in the Chesapeake Bay watershed area.
Source: Janna Davis, Chesapeake Bay Trust acting executive director
Writer: Barbara Pash

Towson City Center Gains Tenants

Towson City Center will have some new residents when it opens next year. Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz and Caves Valley Partners announced the news that several leases had been signed for the office tower complex on November 1, 2011.
Towson University will be moving its College of Health Professions to Towson City Center in 2012. the Towson University outpost will include four clinics: a wellness center, the Speech Language and Hearing Center, the Center for Adults with Autism, and the Occupational Therapy Center. The university radio station is also considering moving to the new complex.
Business Suites, a shared office concept for entrepreneurs will also be taking a space in the new Towson City Center. Cunningham Kitchen, a white tablecloth farm-to-table restaurant from the chefs at Sotto Sopra and The Wine Market, will be opening in the complex in 2012 as well. The new tenants will join previously announced Towson City Center tenants Mile One Automotive Group and Cave Valley Partners.
Towson City Center is a redevelopment project. The transformation of the old Investment Building in central Towson into a new, modern LEED certified business center began in May. The building formerly housed an assortment of state and county offices and has been vacant since its closure in 2001. The facade of the building has been completely refurbished, and the cost of the redevelopment project is expected to come in at $27 million.
Writer: Amy McNeal
Source: Baltimore County, Towson University College of Health Professions

Howard County's $29M Ellicott City Library to Open Next Month

Howard County’s is debuting its largest branch next month — a $29 million new building in Ellicott City expected to bring in one million visitors per year.

Opening mid-December, the new Miller branch will replace an aging building with three times the space and, hopefully, a LEED Gold certification.

The 63,000-square-foot library will include a stone bridge, a garden to hold science and technology education and a terrace that will serve as an outdoor classroom or a spot where guests can listen to acoustic guitar concerts.

Yes, you just read library and acoustic guitar in the same sentence.

The site will house the Howard County Historical Society and a history education center, including genealogy resources, says Valerie Gross, CEO of the Howard County Library System.

A 3,000-square-foot meeting room will allow it to hold best-selling authors like Jodi Picoult, who will make an appearance March 16. Gross says she expects up to 600 visitors for the event, some coming as far away as New York.

A garden located in a quarter-acre park will be the setting for health, science and environmental education. It will include a pizza garden – a garden growing tomatoes, onions, green peppers and other vegetables to encourage kids to order vegetables on their pizza.

Howard County, and a $2 million grant from the Maryland State Department of Education, provided funding for the building.

Veterans Group Leads Cleanup of Oliver Neighborhood

In cooperation with One Green Home at a Time, a home rehabilitation company building energy-efficient homes in East Baltimore, the Pat Tillman Foundation brought over 90 military veterans to the Oliver neighborhood for a clean-up day on July 11. Pulling weeds, clearing debris, and straightening fences, "We pretty much covered the majority of the Oliver community," says Earl Johnson, Executive Director of One Green Home at a Time and himself an Army veteran.

An estimated 200 more volunteers from local non-profit organizations The 6th Branch, Baltimore BORN, One Green Home, Baltimore Love Project, and the Veteran Artist Program joined nearly 100 Tillman Military Scholars in their day of service coordinated with the Pat Tillman Legacy Summit, which is named for the former college and professional football star who was killed by friendly fire while serving as an Army Ranger in Afghanistan.

One Green Home at a Time and its financial arm, Bridge Private Lending, purchased 40 homes in the Oliver neighborhood from the city in May and is currently coordinating funds for complete renovation. The 3-window-wide rowhomes are eligible for historic tax credits and will be standardized to share energy-efficient floor plans and other design features.

Writer: Sam Hopkins
Source: Earl Johnson, One Green Home at a Time

"First of Its Kind" Green Retail Building to Break Ground in Howard County

A Howard County developer will break ground next month on a green retail and apartment building along the Route 40 corridor in Ellicott City.

Built by Waverly Real Estate Group LLC, Forest Green will take between 12 and 18 months to complete, says Waverly's Donald Reuwer.

The site consists of three buildings totaling 85,000 square feet, with nearly two-thirds retail and one-third residential, with 38 apartments. A small portion, 1,500 square feet, will house offices, according to the Howard County Department of Planning and Zoning.

"It's one of the first of its kind on Route 40," says Jill Manion-Farrar, of Howard County planning. "It's a fairly new concept to bring retail and residential on the same site," in that area.

Forest Green will hopefully achieve a LEED Silver certification.

Reuwer wouldn't say how much it will cost to develop the project or what tenants it may get.

Writer: Julekha Dash
Sources: Jill Manion-Farrar, Howard County; Donald Reuwer, Waverly Real Estate Group

Bozzuto Breaks Ground on Green Townhomes

Downtown Towson is getting eco-friendly townhomes as the area undergoes revitalization.

Bozzuto Homes has broken ground on 121 townhomes between Towsontown Boulevard and East Burke Avenue. Homes at Towson Green will start in the low $300s and feature up to four bedrooms. A sales center will open next month.

The townhomes will be built to achieve a Silver level certification from the National Association of Home Builders. Green features will include sustainable design, construction, and finishes, along with Energy Star appliances. The homes will be certified by Energy Star, a government sponsored program that helps residents and businesses become more energy efficient.

The community will include a rain garden with aquatic plants that will treat storm water runoff.

Bozzuto is working with the Chesapeake Fund, a nonprofit organization that works to reduce the amount of nitrogen and phosphorous flowing into local streams and waterways by evaluating the development's output. The real estate firm is also offering eco-friendly landscape maintenance advice to homeowners.

Towson Green lies within Baltimore County's Towson commercial revitalization district, and as a result, qualifies for a property tax credit. Under this program, homeowners will benefit from a reduction in their real estate tax bills for a period of five to ten years.

Towson Green is one of several new residential developments to open in the Baltimore County town. The Palisades of Towson, an 18-story LEED certified apartment tower, opened in the fall. Owned by Southern Management Corp., the Palisades includes a green roof, bamboo floors, and bicycle racks.

In recent years, downtown Towson has experienced an influx of new and redevelopment projects including:

- The $27 million Towson Center City project, site of the former Investment Building which is under interior demolition, and when completed in early 2012 will bring up to 500 new workers to the area;
- Redevelopment of two large vacated retail properties into the newly opened full-service Safeway at York and Fairmont Roads; and,
- The 110,000 square foot expansion of Towson Town Center, which includes a specialty retail wing with Tiffany's and Burberry.

Writer:Julekha Dash
Source: Bozzuto Group

Green Student Housing Opening this Month in College Park

Students in College Park will get to rest their heads in a new, eco-friendly apartment complex.

Built by Columbia's Star Global Ventures, LEED-certified the Enclave will open in the spring with 94 apartment units and 369 beds in a seven-story tower. The building's first floor consists of a lobby, 10,000 square feet of retail place, and visitor parking.

The building consists of a separate parking garage for students, and a study lounge with computers and study equipment, fitness center, bike storage, and courtyard.

Construction on the six-story second phase, with another 369 beds, will begin in 2012.

Designed by Hord Coplan Macht, the Enclave's eco-friendly features include:
• Location near public transportation and within walking and biking distance of shopping areas;
• Roof that reduces energy consumption and pollutant emission;
• Energy-star rated appliances, lighting and windows;
• Use of regionally sourced construction materials; and,
• Ongoing recycling programs.

Located at 8700 Baltimore Ave., the University of Maryland building is financed by a consortium of credit unions led by the State Employee's Credit Union.

The apartments include two bedroom, two bathrooms at 850 square feet to four bedrooms, four bathrooms at 1,200 square feet.

Writer: Julekha Dash
Source: Nisha Majmudar, Star Global Ventures

Eco-friendly Retailer Bambeco Moves HQ to Baltimore

An eco-friendly home goods retailer has chosen Baltimore over several other cities as its corporate headquarters.

Bambeco moved its staff to the Brooklyn neighborhood in South Baltimore, to what is known as the old Lucky's Warehouse. The building is located at 3432 2nd St.

The one-year-old company sells furniture, rugs, pillows, and kitchen and entertaining supplies made from recycled materials.

CEO Susan Aplin says she selected Baltimore over Philadelphia, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, and Washington, D.C. Baltimore has an "underrated" work force that can aid the retail, technology, and marketing industries. By next year the company will have 24 employees and will add another 25 in 2012.

Since some of Bambeco's products come from overseas, Aplin likes being in a port city.

Aplin is also moving Bambeco's warehouse from West Virginia and is on the hunt for 10,000 square feet of space. The headquarters is 5,900 square feet.

Qualified for a LEED Gold rating, the renovated Lucky's building contains solar panels and a geothermal heat pump that heats the water when solar power isn't available. That seems fitting for a company that sells recycled products. Aplin also liked the fact that the building is close to Interstates 895, 695, and 95. It is also close to the Federal Hill neighborhood, where staff can get lunch.

Most of the products Bambeco sells are made by the company itself. As of now, everything is sold on its Web site, Bambeco.com. Next year, it will begin selling in department and specialty stores, says Aplin, who declined to name the stores.  

Aplin declined to disclose sales.

Writer: Julekha Dash
Source: Susan Aplin, Bambeco

University of Maryland Debuts $62M Pharmacy Building

After more than 15 years of planning, the University of Maryland opened its new $62 million pharmacy school Oct. 5 on the city's west side.

Construction began nearly two years ago on the 128,951-square-foot building. The expansion will help address a shortage of skilled pharmacists in the state.

The seven-story building includes lecture halls equipped with technology for distance learning, experiential learning facilities, and research laboratories. It also includes a dispensing laboratory with state-of-the-art robotics. The building features two 200-seat lecture halls, classrooms, and seminar rooms. To help train pharmacists with expanded health care roles, facilities in the new building are designed to evaluate how students carry out clinical examinations of patients.

The University of Maryland School of Pharmacy
will house 135 employees and will allow the school to boost its operational revenues and research activities by $14.9 million.

School officials are seeking a Gold rating from the U.S. Green Building Council for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for the building.

Founded in 1841, the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy is the fourth oldest school of pharmacy in the nation.

University of Maryland, Baltimore isn't the only school featuring a new pharmacy building project. The College of Notre Dame of Maryland broke ground on its $13 million pharmacy building in May. The 25,000-square-foot building will be completed summer 2011.

Writer: Julekha Dash
Source: University of Maryland

Stimulus dollars go toward $45M in new labs, buildings, at Patuxent Wildlife Research Center

Two Baltimore architectural firms are designing new labs and research buildings for a Laurel wildlife refuge funded by the federal government.

The expansion, to cost between $40 million and $60 million, is funded by federal stimulus money.

Gant Brunnett Architects Inc. and Floura Teeter Landscape Architects Inc. are designing the new space for the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. Construction on the project will begin June 2011, says John Brunnett, president of lead architectural firm Gant Brunnett.

The project will include designing a 64,000-square-foot addition to a building that houses research on migratory birds. Plans also call for a renovation of the existing 52,000-square-foot building.

Gant Burnett and Floura Teeter are also designing a new 14,000-square-foot facility where researchers will examine the effects of environmental contaminants on endangered species. They'll research things like how does the pesticide DDT affect the bald eagle population? Another 10,000-square-foot building will be use to breed whooping cranes.

Floura Teeeter has performed an analysis of the site and is getting ready to design it according to LEED criteria, says Aaron Teeter, owner of Floura Teeter. Architects hope to obtain at least a silver LEED certification, Brunnett says. 

One green aspect they're considering is filling the landscape with plants that don't need as much irrigation and are more resistant to drought.

Source: John Brunnett, Gant Brunnett; Aaron Teeter, Floura Teeter
Writer: Julekha Dash
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