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Personal chef service PlateDate launching in Baltimore

A personal chef service is launching in Greater Baltimore in January, promising customers five-star dining in their own home.

PlateDate currently serves Howard County and Washington, D.C. Myranda Stephens, PlateDate's communications manager, says the company is still identifying which areas of Greater Baltimore it will serve, but it will likely include a stretch from Annapolis to Bel Air, as well as Baltimore City. 

Based in Baltimore's Mount Vernon neighborhood, the company employs two and relies on about 20 contract workers. It also has office space in D.C. incubator 1776. Stephens says the company will offer cooking classes and wine pairings in the future.

Riffing on the idea of a kids' playdate, PlateDate facilitates a grown-up get-together. "It's not catering or delivery," she says. "We send a chef to prepare and serve a meal." Chefs bring all ingredients and items necessary for cooking the meal with them and clean up after themselves as well.
 
Potential diners can browse from 25 different menu options online or can opt for a custom-made meal. Each PlateDate is priced per person, starting at $39 for brunch and capping at around $125 for dinner, depending on the options selected. 
 
"You’re getting a personal chef at your house," Stephens states. "A three-course meal— five-star dining—in your own home."
 
PlateDate also wants to "keep it local" whenever possible. The company is committed to promoting locally grown produce; a company partner's family owns a farm in King and Queen County, Va. "Two of the biggest crops from [the] farm are sweet potatoes and kale, which we've incorporated in several of our menu items," Stephens explains. She also says that the farm-to-table aspect of PlateDate's operation has several investors "strongly interested" in the company.
 
Currently, PlateDate has more than a dozen personal chefs on board. "It's a fun concept and it offers a lot of flexibility," Stephens explains. "Some [chefs] do have other full-time jobs. [PlateDate] is a fun way to pick up extra cash and…to do what they love to do in a different way. "
 
PlateDates are available Thursdays through Sundays for brunch and dinner. Stephens says the company would like to offer PlateDates seven days a week, and that expansion will come as the company's network of personal chefs grows. 
 
"We're always looking for talented chefs," she explains. "Having a system of chefs increases availability [for the consumer], so you're not at the mercy of a single calendar."

Writer: Allyson Jacob
Source: Myranda Stephens, PlateDate
 


Maryland hiring another 400 as it preps for Obamacare

The state is hiring more than 400 staffers as it proceeds to implement the federal health program known as Obamacare.

The Maryland Health Benefit Exchange, a key element in the plan, is hiring more than 300 people around the state, of which 107 are in the Baltimore metro and Anne Arundel County region, to operate a program that enrolls individuals and small businesses in the exchange. The exchange is also hiring another 75 to 100 people to operate its central call center. These positions are in addition to the 70 jobs announced earlier whose staffers would be involved in setting up the exchange itself.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, required that each state set up a marketplace for the public and health insurers. In 2011, the Maryland General Assembly created the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange, an independent state agency, to fill that role. The state is beginning to roll out programs in the state, starting with the Connector Program, which signs up people for the plan, and the call center.

The Connector Program enrolls individuals and small businesses in the exchange. Enrollment for individuals officially begins Oct. 1, and for small businesses on Jan. 1, 2014. The program is hiring staffers, called navigators and assistors, to guide individuals and small businesses through the health insurance options in the exchange. Training for staffers will begin in July and August in anticipation of the official enrollment dates.

The exchange has hired six healthcare vendors to set up the Connector Program in regions around the state. Leslie Lyles Smith, the Health Benefit Exchange’s director of operations, says each vendor has its own hiring practices and application deadlines may vary. Job-seekers can visit the exchange website for the names of the vendors in the regions. Smith says vendors may be contacted directly.

The exchange is spending approximately $24 million, split among the vendors, to set up the program.

Besides the six vendors for the program, nearly 50 subcontractors will support their efforts. Vendor positions include training development and delivery for the Connector Program and staffing and running the central call center, named the Consolidated Service Center. The center is scheduled to open in August. Smith says the state will announce the vendor awarded the call center contract in a few weeks.

Besides the over 400 employees being hired to operate the program and call center, the exchange itself is continuing to hire staffers and vendors for other, future programs. The exchange website has job listings under the “careers” category and instructions to apply. Requests for vendors is on the website under “procurement” along with information about vendors who have already been awarded contracts.
 
The Maryland Health Connection is the exchange’s online portal for the public to get information about its programs, health insurance and tax credit, and enrollment. Smith says the exchange is also launching a social media campaign, tentatively set for May, as a way to inform the public about the healthcare options.
 
Source: Leslie Lyles Smith, Maryland Health Benefit Exchange
Writer: Barbara Pash
 
 
 

Three new companies join UMBC cybersecurity incubator

The University of Maryland, Baltimore County and Northrop Grumman Corp. last month expanded their Cync cybersecurity  program with three new companies, including the program’s first international one. The three firms joined the five companies currently at [email protected] Research and Technology Park in Catonsville.

The folowing three companies entered the Cync program:
  • iWebGate is relocating its headquarters from Perth, Australia, to Maryland. It is developing a multi-tenant security-tested network between private networks and the Internet;
  • DB Networks, of Silicon Valley provides behavioral analysis of database security equipment. It intends to grow its mid-Atlantic region; and,
  • Baltimore's Light Point Security, which is working on protecting corporate networks from web-based malware.

Northrop Grumman and UMBC jointly select the companies for the 18-month long Cync program, which began in 2011.
 
Chris Valentino, director of contract research and development for Northrop Grumman Information Systems in Annapolis says the program is for early-stage companies to grow and develop their cybersecurity products. He identified global security, data analytics and technology as areas that are of particular interest. Valentino says he also considers how the product fits into Northrop Grumman’s portfolio.
 
Northrop Grumman pays for Cync program companies’ office space and equipment at the UMBC incubator. Its own entrepreneur-in-residence at the incubator works with the companies on business plans and marketing.
 
Valentino says the Cync program is getting requests from companies outside the U.S. and elsewhere in the country. “They wanted to expand to Maryland specifically for the Cync program and to work with federal government,” he says of the companies.
 
Northrop Grumman provides a link to potential customers in the federal marketplace. “Our intention is to partner with the companies,” he says.
 
Ellen Hemmerly, executive director at [email protected], says there are more than 100 companies in the research and technology park. Of these, two-thirds are early-stage companies that are participating in one of its three incubators. Bwtech’s cybersecurity incubator has 35 early-stage companies and another 10 companies that are more mature businesses.
 
Of the 35 early-stage companies, eight are participating in the Cync program. She says that when the Cync program was established, there was not an absolute number set on the number of companies that could participate.

"We projected five to six companies at any one time, and we are staying within that framework.”
 
Sources: Chris Valentino, Northrop Grumman Information Systems; Ellen Hemmerly, [email protected] Research and Technology Park
Writer: Barbara Pash

Jessup IT firm ClearEdge hiring 25

ClearEdge IT Solutions LLC, a woman-owned tech firm in Jessup, is hiring 25 software engineers and cloud computing experts to join the 75-person firm by the fall. The company, which specializes in cloud computing and data analysis, moved to a new, larger headquarters in Howard County.

The move is part of an overall restructuring process that will enable the company to compete for more and larger defense contracts, Executive Strategist Nikolas Acheson says.  “We are reorganizing to maximize our abilities, and positioning ourselves for the future,” he says. “We are ramping up to compete as we move from a small to a large company.”
 
ClearEdge IT was founded in 2002. The company is currently valued at about $20 million and anticipates growing by 20 percent per year for the next five years, says Acheson. “The area of computer science that we support is expanding. Customers are looking for efficiencies, to implement new technologies and that’s where we come in."
 
Last year, ClearEdge IT left a leased building in Anne Arundel County to buy and renovate an existing two-story, 36,000-square-foot building in Jessup. Part of the staff works from new headquarters while others work on-site for federal and private customers. Acheson says its main customer is the intelligence community within the Department of Defense, as well as private customers in the defense community
 
The move also allows ClearEdgeIT to expand its certification classes in big data and cloud computing programs like Hadoop and jQuery at its Distributed Computing Center of Excellence. The company founded the center less than a year ago and currently enrolls over 100 students.
 
Classes are open to anyone. Fees range from about $1,700 for a two-day course to $495 for a several-hour course. With the move, Acheson says the company will focus on partnering with its customers to offer training and certification for their employees. A fee structure is in the works. Certification will be offered either within the particular company or to industry-wide standards.
 
“We intend to double, even triple, enrollment and the number of offerings within the next 18 months,” he says.
 
Source: Nikolas Acheson, ClearEdge IT Solutions
Writer: Barbara Pash

Carroll County IT Firm Adds New Clients

Skyline Technology Solutions LLC expects to sign six new contracts next year, expanding its market reach. The Carroll County IT company currently has customers in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington, D.C.
 
President Brian Holsonbake says the additional customers will result in a 10 to 15 percent growth in sales for Skyline, which averages over $35 million in sales per year. Most of the new states are located along the East Coast, although he declined to identify them until the contracts are signed.
 
The company offers fiber-optic cabling as well as inside and outside plant cabling; networking, customized software development and back-end application services for federal agencies, state and local jurisdictions and commercial customers; 24/7 managed services at its network operations center; and hosting services.
 
Holsonbake says the company is continuing to expand its video-interoperability product line, an appliance or cloud-based solution that enables different agencies to share live-streaming video at different locations simultaneously. The solution works with traditional and mobile devices.
 
Among its customers are the Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington, D.C., departments of transportation, City of Annapolis police department, and bus and transit companies in those jurisdictions. Commercial customers include companies in the financial and medical sectors.
 
The privately financed company was founded in 2004 with one employee. It now has 112 employees and is hiring 16 more, in software development, network engineering and VoIP engineering.
 
As the company has grown, it has added offices. In 2007, the company opened an office in Eldersburg, which remains the corporate headquarters. In 2009, it opened a 15,000-square foot office in Glen Burnie, Ann Arundel County, to which it later added 3,000 square feet. In 2012, it added a second, 9,000-square foot office in Glen Burnie. The company currently occupies three offices, two in Glen Burnie and one in Eldersburg.
 
Skyline Networking Solutions is a Knowtion Group company.
 
Source: Brian Holsonbake, Skyline Technology Solutions LLC
Writer: Barbara Pash






Annapolis Medical Device Maker Partners With Boston Hospital On Patient Monitoring

Annapolis medical device company Zephyr Technology Corp. is collaborating with Massachusetts General Hospital on its OmniSense system for monitoring patients' vital signs. 

Paul Costello,  Zephyr's vice president of mHealth Sales, says the OmniSense system is used to monitor patients in the hospital and after they are discharged. The system allows staff and physicians at the Boston hospital to track and measure their health while they are recuperating at home.
 
Costello says the OmniSense device is about the size of a silver dollar and weighs an ounce. It is attached to the skin with two “smart” electrodes. The system works within the confines of a hospital without interfering in the facility’s electronic and internet equipment.
 
Zephyr makes sensors that measure vital signs such as electrocardiogram, heart rate, breathing rate and skin temperature. The real-time physiological status monitoring is transmitted via high-level wireless such as mobile phones, PDAs and the web.
 
The company has a variety of product lines, for use by professional sports teams, fire and rescue, law enforcement and Special Forces groups. It also sells consumer products. For example, its heart rate monitor went on sale this month, at a cost of $79.
 
Zephyr was founded in 2003 as an engineering services firm. In 2005, it received a contract from the US Department of Defense to develop a physiological monitoring system that US Navy Seals could use in combat. From there, the company branched out to monitoring the medical aspects of First Responders. The company is growing and recently hired four people for a total of 36 employees. 
 
Zephy is privately-owned and venture capital-backed. Backers include 3M New Ventures, Motorola and iGlobe Partners.
 
Source: Paul Costello, Zephyr Technology Corp.
Writer:  Barbara Pash

Anne Arundel County Manufacturer Moves Into Bigger Digs

SemaConnect Inc., a manufacturer of electric vehicle charging stations, has moved from an Anne Arundel County incubator to new headquarters in a business park in Bowie. The relocation last month from the Chesapeake Innovation Center in Annapolis to an 8,000-square foot facility in Melford Business Park more than triples the size of its office. It allows SemaConnect to have its business and manufacturing operations under one roof for the first time and to continue its market expansion. 
 
Founded in 2008, SemaConnect’s station is web-based, wired into a 240-volt electrical source and can be mounted on a wall or pedestal. The company moved into the incubator in 2010, after having developed its first product and winning a federal contract administered by the state of Maryland and the Baltimore Electric Vehicle Initiative to build and install 58 electric vehicle stations around the state.
 
By 2012, SemaConnect has manufactured and sold almost 100 electric vehicle stations in Maryland and almost 500 stations across the US, from Washington, D.C., to Hawaii, according to Naly Yang, director of marketing.
 
Since 2010, when nearly all sales were to public entities like the state of Maryland, the number of private entities buying stations has grown. It started as a free program the state of Maryland was running. Now, says Yang, a lot of businesses like commercial real estate developers and hotels are interested in having a charging station as a way to promote themselves. The station owners determine what, if anything, they will charge for the stations’ use.
 
SemaConnect was recently commissioned to produce 1,500 stations for major retail sites across the U.S. like Walgreens and Simon Properties. This year, too, it is expanding its market to Canada, starting with British Columbia.
 
SemaConnect went from four staffers in 2010 to its current 25 employees, including a national sales team. Yang says the company is the third largest manufacturer of charging stations in the US based on the number of stations deployed.
 
Source: Naly Yang, SemaConnect
Writer: Barbara Pash

IT Consulting Firm SITEC Moves Out of UMBC Incubator

IT firm SITEC Consulting relocated from the cybersecurity incubator at [email protected] Research & Technology Park to an office in Anne Arundel County last month.

The minority-owned company moved to Annapolis Junction, a business park, because of its proximity to customers at Fort Meade.
 
SITEC Consulting was founded in 2007 and was acquired in February of 2012 by Kevin Coby, who is president. Since then, he has made changes in management and location "to better serve our customers,” according to Lubna Sher, SITEC’s chief of staff.
 
SITEC Consulting is a business process automation consulting and IT firm for both federal and commercial markets.
 
Since its founding, SITEC Consulting has had a corporate office in Cambridge, a federally Historically Underutilized Business Zone, aka HUBZone, an incentive for federal contractors. Last year, it joined the UMBC incubator and has since grown its staff from 26 to 31, Sher says.
 
Sher says the company is maintaining its Cambridge office, and the two offices will share the staff. She says the company is in a “growth mode” and is looking to increase the number of employees as work progresses. Sher says additional staff would be in IT-related fields like software engineering, visualization, engineering services, and business analytics and support, its core competencies.
 
Source: Lubna Sher, SITEC Consulting
Writer: Barbara Pash



Chesapeake Regional Tech Council Relocates

The Chesapeake Regional Tech Council relocated its headquarters this month to a commercial building that it says will help it better reach its members.

The council left its space in the Anne Arundel Economic Development Corp., a county agency, to 839 Bestgate Road in Annapolis.
 
Chris Valerio, the council’s executive director, says the move was made to better reflect the council’s growing, regional membership and the fact that it is an independent agency and not a government entity. The council’s new office is located in one of its recent members, Annapolis Offices at Bestgate, a flex-office facility. Flex space is a former industrial building that has been converted to office space. 
 
The council has been situated in the county economic development office, a long-time sponsor, because it provided in-kind space and office help. “We have an independent board but there was confusion. People assumed we were a government entity,” Valerio says. “We are proud of that independent, entrepreneurial spirit.”
 
The council was founded in 1992 as the Anne Arundel High Technology Council. In 2008, the name was changed to Chesapeake Regional Tech Council because, at the time, 40 percent of its members were from outside Anne Arundel County.
 
Since then, half of its 280-company members are in Anne Arundel County or do business in the county, typically at the U.S. Army’s Fort Meade, and the other half are located in Baltimore County and City, Howard County, the Washington, D.C., area and the Eastern Shore.
 
Valerio, who runs the council with two full-time employees, says the move also allows her more mobility in meeting with member companies. They range from startups to large, established businesses. Most are in information technology rather than biotechnology, but members also include service providers like law firms and accountants. In the IT field, many are government contractors but there are also commercial firms.
 
 
Source: Chris Valerio, Chesapeake Regional Tech Council
Writer: Barbara Pash

New Wegmans Hiring More Than 500 Employees for Anne Arundel Store

Foodies might be reveling in the sushi and endless array of cheeses at the Wegmans Food Market's latest Maryland store in Columbia. 

But soon, the Rochester, N.Y., chain will open its sixth store in Anne Arundel County and is hiring 520 full- and part-time employees to staff the Gambrills store. Currently under construction, the store is scheduled to open Oct. 28.

Of the 520 employees, the store is hiring 160 full-time and 470 part-time, Store Manager Gerry Troisi says. Applications are available online at the Wegmans' Web site.

The new 125,000-square foot store will open at new shopping plaza Waugh Chapel Towne Centre, off Route 3. It includes a Target, Dick's Sporting Goods, Coal Fire Pizza and Panera Bread. It is adjacent to the Village at Waught Chapel South. Troisi says the site was chosen about five years ago because of its proximity to Annapolis, which has one of the highest income-populations in the region.

Wegmans currently operates 79 stores. The one-story Gambrills' Wegmans will have the latest developments in the chain, including fresh cut fish, an extensive cheese selection and a prepared food Market Cafe with seating for more than 200 indoors and 100 outdoors on a patio. Triosi says the store will have "fresh cut" fruit and vegetable stations where produce bought in the store can be sliced, diced and chopped to customers' specifications.

Source: Gerry Troisi, Wegmans Food Market
Writer: Barbara Pash; [email protected]


U.S. Army Hiring 400 for Cyber Defense

The U.S. Army  is looking for a few good men and women. 

The 780th Military Intelligence Brigade, the Army’s cyber systems intelligence and security unit at Fort George G. Meade, in Anne Arundel County, has embarked on a civilian recruitment effort.

"The Army established this emerging mission," Gregory Platt, the 780th Military Intelligence Brigade's senior civilian advisor, says of cyber threats, "and we are fleshing out the staff."

Over the next three years, the Brigade is hiring a total of 400 employees, starting with about 100 new employees this fiscal year and another 70 to 75 new employees per year until fiscal year 2015. The civilian employees will join 800 active duty military personnel who will work for the Brigade. 

Most of the civilian employees will work at Fort Meade but some will be assigned to Fort Gordon, Georgia, Platt says.

Prospective workers must be fully cleared for the positions. Platt says the jobs require technical and/or computer skills, especially those that apply to cyberspace operations like analytical skills and strategic planning.

“We specialize in operating systems and network topology,” he says. “We are looking for folks with experience and a desire to grow,” he says.

The salaries are competitive with private industry, and can be viewed on the U.S. Army web site, he says.

In 2010, the U.S. Army approved the creation of the 780th Military Intelligence Brigade, the first of its kind, with help from the National  ecurity Agency, Department of Defense and U.S. Cyber Command, Army and Congressional staff, the U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command. In 2011, the Brigade was activated to support U.S. and Army Cyber Commands with their missions to provide a proactive cyber defense. The Brigade was officially activated in the fall.

Source: Gregory Platt, U.S. Army 780th Military Intelligence Brigade
Writer: Barbara Pash

Flush Tax to Pay for Clean Water Projects

The Maryland Board of Public Works approved $43 million in grants to local jurisdictions for clean water and Chesapeake Bay projects in the last two months.

Administered by the Maryland Department of the Environment, the projects are part of an ongoing effort to improve water quality for Marylanders and reduce nutrients in the Bay.

“We’ve updated 67 of the largest waste water treatment plants” in the state so far, says Jay Apperson, the environment department's deputy director in the office of communications.
 
State funding comes from the Bay Restoration Fund, which is paid for by the “flush tax.” The 2012 General Assembly passed legislation that doubled the tax to $30 per year for septic users and $2.50 per month for public water users.
 
Federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grants, aka stimulus money, were also available. The state is allocated a certain amount of stimulus funding, and environmental department picked the recipients.
 
Grants went to:
Allegheny County: more than $1 million to City of Cumberland for sewer overflow storage facility.
 
Anne Arundel County: $5.4 million for Broadwater Water Reclamation Facility; $90,455 for Peach Orchard Stormwater Management; and $345,000 Rhode River/Cheston Point Living Shorelines.
 
Baltimore City: $2.5 million for the Montebello Reservoir Cover Project.
 
Harford County: over $33 million for Sod Run Wastewater Treatment Plant; and $2.6 million for Joppatowne Wastewater Treatment Plant.
 
“The water quality projects – for drinking water and waste water – are all designed to improve the quality of the waterways, including the Bay,” says Apperson, “and to ensure that Marylanders have as clean drinking water as possible.”
 
Source: Jay Apperson, Maryland Department of the Environment
Writer: Barbara Pash
 
 
 

IT Firm Buys $1.6M Data Storage Center

A Beltsville IT storage firm has snatched up a 300,000-square-foot building in Glen Burnie so it can compete with companies in Northern Virginia, where 95 percent of the regional industry is located.

The AiNET CyberNAP facility will be the largest stand-alone data center in Maryland, Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C., according to Darrell Tanno, AiNET's vice president of business development.

AiNET's paid $1.6 million for the Anne Arundel County building. The 19-year-old company has two other facilities in Maryland. 

Founded by CEO Deepak Jain, a Howard County native, AiNET operates a secure, cloud storage service based on proprietary technology.  Jain stated that CyberNAP already has commitments from several customers. The facility is located near Fort Meade and is geared to offer specialized security features.  

Tanno expects that in the next five to seven years, when the Glen Burnie facility is operating at full capacity, it will have an “economic impact of upwards of $1 billion annually, much of it staying in Maryland.” 
 
The Glen Burnie facility will house more than 10,000 equipment cabinets and support up to 1 million servers. The facility itself will employ about 20 people but Tanno says that the real job impact will be AiNET’s clients who, because of AiNET's increased capacity, can handle more contracts. New jobs would be primarily for skilled IT workers but support personnel would be needed as well, he says.
 
AiNET opened its first facility in 2003, a 50,000-square foot data center in Beltsville. The 20,000-square foot Laurel data center followed in 2008.
 
AiNET provides IT services to clients in the public and commercial/private sectors. Tanno says the current split is 60 percent public sector, 40 percent commercial/private sector. Public sector clients include universities and government. Virtually all of the government clients are through system integrators, he says.
 
Source: Darrell Tanno, AiNET
Writer: Barbara Pash
 

Annapolis Office Building Opens in Former Higher Ed Space

The Annapolis Offices at Bestgate is not the first, or even the only, executive office space in Annapolis. Nonetheless, the Annapolis Offices officially opened last month with what Christy Dupras, president, calls a new product for the area. 

"Unlike the traditional model," which has only individual offices, "we offer private multi-office suites," says Dupras of the Annapolis Office, at 839 Bestgate Road. Once the home of the Maryland Higher Education Commission, which moved its office to Baltimore, the building has been renovated for its new use.

There are two other executive office spaces in Annapolis. 

“With the type of small, private companies that do business between Washington, D.C. and Annapolis, we felt there was a lot of opportunity” for another, Dupras says. Moreover, in the vicinity are the U.S. Naval Academy, Anne Arundel Medical Center, numerous state government offices and, 12 miles away, Fort Meade.

“Many people aren’t willing to make a commitment to a commercial lease,” she continues. “We offer another product.”
 
Dupras says the venture was undertaken with local partners and is a “sister” center of the Washington Offices at Dupont Circle, an executive office space. Clients of the facilities have reciprocity at each.
  
Rent includes utilities, use of the kitchen, eight hours of meeting room time, cleaning and furnishings. For an additional charge, secretarial, phone service and copy/scan/fax service are available. The rent runs from $500 to $3,000 per month depending on office size. Individual offices range from 82-square feet to 700-square feet with a window view; the multi-office suites hold two to five offices. 

Dupras says the rent "is more economical" than competing office spaces. Leases are flexible and can be signed month to month or for a year at a time.

So far, Annapolis Offices is 50 percent occupied with six different companies. Clients include a financial services company, an IT consultant and a commercial real estate development. Dupras  expects it to be fully leased by 2013.
 
Annapolis Offices has one full-time employee. Another employee may be hired if needed.
 
Source: Christy Dupras, Annapolis Offices at Bestgate
Writer: Barbara Pash

ProGymSystems Kicks Off New Venture

The distressed real estate market is offering an opportunity for growth for ProGymSystems. The Baltimore based company is launching a new venture to open fitness studios in office properties with a high vacancy rate.

“Fitness and healthy living aren’t only hobbies for the fit crowd or bodybuilders. They are becoming the lifestyle of choice for the mainstream,” says ProGymSystems Director W. Thomas Sjolander.

The company sees the current real estate environment as an opportunity for expansion, and is marketing their new concept to property managers looking to attract new tenants to highly vacant properties by offering upgraded amenities.
“Many office buildings have high vacancy rates,” Sjolander says. “ Amenities like a free fitness center will help attract new tenants and even retain current tenants.”

ProGymSystems typically designs gyms for hotels, private clients and multi-housing properties. The company has designed gyms at the Saratoga Lofts in Baltimore and TownPlace Suites at Arundel Mills. ProGymSystems has approached several area property developers with the new concept, including Corporate Office Properties Trust, JBG Rosenfeld, Chesapeake Property Management and St. John Properties.

Writer: Amy McNeal
Source: W. Thomas Sjolander, ProGymSystems




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