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Developer Mulling $25 Million Hotel Expansion Near Arundel Mills

A new hotel near Arundel Mills could begin a $25 million expansion in a couple of years to meet the demand for rooms the owners expect once a slots casino opens.

The 150-room Hotel at Arundel Preserve could add another 100 rooms, says hotel General Manager Jeff Makhlouf. Construction would not begin until 2012.

The expansion would occur in a lot next to the boutique hotel.

Makhlouf describes the property as a “unique” product in an area that holds largely chain brands. The rooms are about two-thirds full now, but Makhlouf expects occupancy to hit 85 percent once the Cordish Co. builds its casino and entertainment complex next year.

If it doesn’t expand the hotel, developer Southern Management will build a Class A office building instead, Makhlouf says. It depends on whether it can get an anchor tenant to occupy the first few floors of the building.

The Vienna, Va., company is now conducting a feasibility study to determine the best use.

The Hotel at Arundel Preserve is part of a $150 million development that includes 242 apartments and several restaurants. The 156-seat Grillfire restaurant opened in July. Indian restaurant Rangoli will open in the next couple of months.


Writer: Julekha Dash
Source: Jeff Makhlouf, Hotel at Arundel Preserve

Higher Education Agency Moving From Annapolis to Baltimore

The state agency that accredits university programs is moving from Annapolis to Baltimore in a move that it hopes will save money.

The Maryland Higher Education Commission’s relocation to the Nancy Grasmick Building Complex should result in cost savings since the building is state-owned, says Takirra Winfield, a spokeswoman for Gov. Martin O’Malley. The education commission will share space with the Maryland State Department of Education and can share administrative and other resources at the new facility.

The commission’s 50 employees occupy 20,000 square feet at 839 Bestgate Rd. The property rents for about $35 per square foot.

“We’re now near the Annapolis Mall and the lease there is relatively expensive,” Winfield says.

The move’s date is still undetermined.

The state this month will review a $2.4 million contract with the Christman Co. of Alexandria, Va., to renovate and design the space in the new building. Winfield acknowledged that there would be an upfront cost for relocating the agency but hopes that in the long run, the move will save it money.


Writer: Julekha Dash
Sources: Board of Public Works; Takirra Winfield, Gov. Martin O'Malley's office

Public Affairs Firm Looking for Space in Anne Arundel County

A public affairs firm is hunting for a new office in Annapolis so it can be close to state legislators and better positioned to influence public policy.

The ten-year-old Hatcher Group is looking for space near the Maryland State House or Church Circle, President Ed Hatcher says.

It is currently leasing temporary space at 9 State Circle, headed by Dawn Stoltzfus, former spokeswoman for the Maryland Department of the Environment. Though Stoltzfus is currently the sole employee in Annapolis, Hatcher says he expects to add additional staff in the coming months.

Based in Bethesda, the 25-person firm opened its second office in Baltimore’s Mount Vernon neighborhood almost a year ago.

The company works with foundations and nonprofits to effect social change. Having an office in Annapolis will make it easier to work on communications initiatives to oppose the death penalty, support gay marriage, and back economic policies on behalf of low-income families, Hatcher says.


Writer: Julekha Dash
Source: Ed Hatcher, the Hatcher Group

Andrew Marc, Talbots Outlets Coming to Arundel Mills

Shoes, diamonds, and fashion outlet stores are headed to Arundel Mills mall this fall — the latest new tenants for the shopping center getting a slots casino next year.

Maryland’s first Andrew Marc outlet store is one of the four new tenants. The 25-year-old retail chain will open a shop in November selling handbags, belts, travel bags, dresses, and outerwear.

Talbots Outlet will open its second Maryland store in November at Arundel Mills. The women’s clothing company, which started an outlet division two years ago, will open next to Last Call by Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th, along with Andrew Marc.

"One of the things shoppers have been asking for is to bring in better fashion brands," says Wendy Ellis, the mall's director of marketing.

Shoe store Naturalizer will open in October, between Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th and Bass Pro Shops. It will be Naturalizer’s second Maryland store. The other one is located at the Mall in Columbia. Helzberg Diamonds will also open a store in October in this section of the mall. The 96-year-old jewelry store has three other shops in Greater Baltimore, at the Mall in Columbia, White Marsh Mall and Columbia Mall.

Arundel Mills mall gets 14 million visitors a year and is one of the top visitor destinations in Maryland. Those numbers will likely go up once Cordish Co. builds its mega casino and entertainment venue Maryland Live at Arundel Mills next year.


Writer: Julekha Dash
Source: Wendy Ellis, Arundel Mills

Under Armour Executive Finds His Mission in Barbeque

A former Under Armour executive has found a new mission by selling Texas-style brisket, pulled pork sandwiches, and ribs rubbed with old bay seasoning.

William Kraus, former senior vice president of marketing at Under Armour, and former Outback Steakhouse executive Steve Newton opened Mission BBQ this month at 7748 Ritchie Hwy. in Glen Burnie. The business partners traveled the country in search of the nation’s best barbecue before opening their 100-seat restaurant.

The restaurant does have a mission besides serving up smoked meats. The décor honors military men and women, firefighters, and police. The business also donates some of its revenue to wounded soldiers and the USO.

“It’s given us a purpose to say the least,” Kraus says of the restaurant. “There’s nothing more American than barbeque.”

The owners hope to open another barbeque restaurant in Howard County — where the owners live — and other areas of Maryland and around the country.


Writer: Julekha Dash
Source: William Kraus, Mission BBQ

Senior Care Company Expanding in Greater Baltimore

A senior care business is looking to launch a dozen franchises in Greater Baltimore.

Comfort Keepers, based in Dayton Ohio, is eyeing primarily Baltimore, Howard, and Anne Arundel Counties for the new startups, says Jim Brown, Comfort Keepers' vice president of franchise development.

The areas the company is targeting include Pikesville, Essex, Annapolis, Severn and Elkridge. It already has offices in Columbia and Towson.  It has 630 locations throughout the country.

Franchisees can expect to spend $85,000 to $100,000 in startup costs. Its business model is to get out into the community and start marketing and advertising its senior care services to get referrals for people who need at-home care, Brown says.

According to the U.S. Census, seniors make up 12 percent of the Maryland population and that number is expected to grow as the baby boomers age.

The company hopes to get the first three franchises up and running within six months. It will hold an open house at the Doubletree Annapolis hotel Sept. 17.


Writer: Julekha Dash
Source: Jim Brown, Comfort Keepers

Hereís the Dish: National Kitchen Company Opens First Greater Baltimore Store

Corningware Corelle Revere has opened a store in Hanover's Arundel Mills mall, its first in the Greater Baltimore region and second spot in Maryland.

The 4,000-square-foot store, which opened July 22, sells flatware, glasses, dishes, and other kitchen items. World Kitchen LLC manufactures and distributes the store's products under the Corelle, Pyrex, Corningware, Chicago Cutlery, Baker's Secret, and Snapware brand names. The shop is located between Best Buy and Medieval Times.

World Kitchen chose the Anne Arundel County location because it gets plenty of tourists, says Keri Durkin, vice president of merchandising and marketing for the Rosemont, Ill., company. The mall gets 14 million visitors a year and is one of the top visitor destinations in Maryland.

Those numbers will likely go up once Cordish Co. builds its mega casino and entertainment venue Maryland Live at Arundel Mills next year.

The mall, which celebrates its 10-year anniversary in November, is trying to shake up its retail mix.

"Retail is very cyclical," says Wendy Ellis, Arundel Mills' director of marketing and business development. "What consumers want is always changing and we work hard to bring what they want."

Ellis says Corningware Corelle suited the mall because it fits into its mix of mainly discount and outlet stores. Coringware Corelle's other Maryland store is at the Hagerstown Premium Outlets.


Writer: Julekha Dash
Sources: Wendy Ellis, Arundel Mills; Keri Durkin, World Kitchen LLC

Boutique Hotel Opening Near Arundel Mills in $150M Complex

Southern Management Corp., known for its portfolio of apartment holdings, is opening a 150-room boutique hotel by early August as the developer hopes to capitalize on the tourism revenue expected from the casino debuting next year at Arundel Mills mall.

The Hotel at Arundel Preserve
is part of a $150 million development includes 242 apartments, which opened this month, and Grillfire restaurant. The project is part of the 268-acre Arundel Preserve complex that includes shops, offices, apartments, and restaurants.

The 156-seat Grillfire will open July 28. The sixth restaurant of New York's George Martin Group, the steakhouse will also serve seafood, salads, and chicken dishes.

The hotel will house three other restaurants, including Indian eatery Rangoli, says John Cohan, Southern Management's director of marketing.

The Vienna, Va., developer saw an "untapped market." Though the area around Arundel Mills mall is chock full of hotels, many are chain hotels targeting business travelers flying through Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, Cohan says. Southern Management is hoping that an independently owned boutique hotel will stand apart for leisure travelers looking to press their luck at the slots machines.

The company also hopes to appeal to the thousands of defense contractors that will move and work in the area due to the federal government's Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC).


Writer: Julekha Dash
Source: John Cohan, Southern Management

Ethan Allenís New Format Store to Move Into Annapolis Towne Centre

Ethan Allen Design Center is opening a store at Annapolis Towne Centre this summer with a new store layout that is the first of its kind in the mid-Atlantic.

The 8,550-square-foot shop will sell furniture and accessories and feature technology that will make buying sofas and fabric a more interactive experience.

The store will include "inspiration labs" with design ideas for five different lifestyles, says Kathy Bliss, regional design manager for the Danbury, Conn., firm. Clients' lifestyle choices are elegance, modern, romance, explorer, and vintage.

Buyers can use touchscreen monitors to preview their purchases, and use design software to see room layout options and images of each lifestyle.

The Annapolis Towne Centre shop replaces a larger store at 2401 Solomons Island Rd. that closed in December.

Ethan Allen executives wanted the store to go into the "popular lifestyle shopping destination," Bliss says.

The outdoor mall's home retailers include Restoration Hardware, Arhaus Furniture, Great Gatherings, Bed Bath & Beyond, Desi Living, and Sur La Table.

Developed by Greenberg Gibbons Commercial Corp., Annapolis Towne Centre is a $500 million retail, office and residential complex that houses a Main Street-style town center. Its other stores include Whole Foods Market, Brio Tuscan Grill, and Target.


Writer: Julekha Dash
Sources: Kathy Bliss, Ethan Allen

BWMC Adding $1.3M X-Ray Machine

Baltimore Washington Medical Center is adding a $1.3 million X-Ray machine that will allow it to perform more non-invasive procedures and enhance its women's services.

Construction on the Siemens Interventional Room began last month and will finish in August. The new machine will allow the Glen Burnie hospital to perform uterine fibroid embolizations, or a minimally invasive treatment of fibroid tumors, says BWMC Director of Radiology Dr. Jim Cary.

"We're excited to offer this to anyone in Maryland," Cary says.

The machine replaces 14-year-old equipment and offers better imaging quality.

A woman undergoing the procedure can recover within 24 hours and return to work within two or three days, says Dr. Zina Novak, BWMC's medical director of radiology services.

The hospital is renovating the interventional radiology room with new lighting, storage, cabinets, and lounge for technologists.


Writer, Julekha Dash
Sources, Dr. Jim Cary, Dr. Zina Novak, BWMC

Anne Arundel Community College plots $21M library expansion

Anne Arundel Community College will begin a $21 million renovation and expansion of its outdated library next spring in an effort to modernize its campus.

The project will add 31,000 square feet to the building, which is currently 44,000 square feet. The new space will house a computer lab, tutoring services and a reading department.

The expansion will begin April 2011 and will be completed in 2012 or 2013. Funding for the project comes from the state and Anne Arundel County.

School officials want to upgrade the building, which dates back to 1968, so that it includes the technology and collaborative learning spaces that other college libraries have nowadays, says Anne Arundel Community College Library Director, Cynthia Steinhoff.

"The building was designed for a much smaller student population and we are very crowded," Steinhoff says.

Like many other community colleges, the Arnold campus enrollment continues to rise as more people head back to school to gain skills that could help them land jobs. So far 15,877 students have signed up for the fall school year. That's about 5 percent more than the number it had last year, spokeswoman Susan Gross says.

The college has hired two architectural firms, Ewing Cole, in Philadelphia and D.C., and Woollen Molzan and Partners Inc., of Indianapolis, to design the building.

"The building will be more attractive and look much more contemporary," Steinhoff says. School officials think of the library, at 101 College Pkwy., as the "heart of the college."

"We are thinking of the new structure as the jewel of the campus."

School officials like the campus' location because it is centrally located for county residents.

"It's an easy location to get to," Steinhoff says.

Sources: Cynthia Steinhoff, Susan Gross, Anne Arundel Community College
Writer: Julekha Dash

26 anne arundel county Articles | Page: | Show All
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