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Work in progress for Baltimore’s newest park

The work at what soon will be Baltimore’s newest park is in full swing near Pier 5.

Look for Pierce’s Park to open this fall. The development, located on a sliver of land behind the Columbus Center, is going to be an oasis for fun and creative play.

Park benches will be made of recycled material, a unique tunnel is in place made of a living willow vine, a musical fence designed by local artist David Hess is being installed and plenty of shade trees will make this small space sparkle for young and old.

The park is named for Pierce J. Flanigan III, president of the P. Flanigan and Sons road construction firm, who lived near the site of the park before his death in October 2008 from a brain hemorrhage. It is being funded through public funds and private donations.

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What do Baltimore, San Francisco, Seattle and New York have in common besides similar pro-sports franchises?

Jones Lang LaSalle published a market indicator last week that showed Charm City in top company when it comes to high-tech jobs and growth.

This means a higher demand locally for office space leasing, and landlords here and nearby willing to adjust commercial space to lure firms to the open, loft appeal of the likes of Facebook, Google and Zynga, Jones Lang LaSalle, a national real estate firm, says.

“High-tech innovations and a shift in workforce dynamics are changing the way companies view and use office space,” Peter Miscovich, Managing Director in Jones Lang LaSalle’s Corporate Solutions group, said in a statement.

Other areas also in the spotlight are the Silicon Valley, Pittsburgh and Austin, Texas.

Baltimore’s fortunes are linked to BRAC and the move to add to the growing cybersecurity industry in the Baltimore-Washington corridor. High tech, healthcare and energy-related jobs are listed as the top three sectors to watch for growth in the near future.

Here’s what the report had to say about Baltimore: “Surprisingly strong high-tech cluster that emerged as a result of the federal government relocating the Defense Information Systems Agency’s [DISA] headquarters from Northern Virginia to Fort Meade. High-tech tenants serving DISA are relocating to submarkets in the Baltimore region and their demand is outpacing available supply, leading to premiums almost 30 percent above the market average. While all federal government programs will be intensely scrutinized in the coming months and years, cuts to DISA appear unlikely as increased intelligence funding has been a priority over the past several years.”

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Baltimore Reads, an adult literacy center based downtown, has received a $100,000 donation from Wells Fargo – enough to rename the group’s headquarters The Wells Fargo Literacy Center @ Baltimore Reads.

The group offers adult literacy classes, GED prep, civics and English language acquisition. It also has a book bank that provides free children’s books to schools, teachers, Head Start centers, social services agencies, community organizations and families unable to afford books for a home library.

More than 1.5 million books have flowed through the free service since Baltimore Reads was founded in 1988.

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Friends in Pigtown report that a new development there, Charm City Swing, has many in the historic neighborhood on the city’s southwest side tapping their toes.

Last week, the Swing opened its doors in a renovated church at 861 Washington Blvd. — named, eloquently, the Mobtown Ballroom. Community advocates say that more than 75 dancers turned out for the fun, which included lessons in the Lindy Hop and other swing favs.

Each Friday from 9 to 11:30 p.m., you can go and dance till your socks melt at The Baltimore Strut. If you want to jumpstart your week, each Monday, there is a DJ dance.

“At approximately 8 p.m., we noticed  quite a few very well dressed people (men in suits, ladies in dresses with lovely flowers in their hair) walking down the streets…….from all directions,” said Beth Hawks, a proud Pigtown homeowner. “We went over to check it out and were pleasantly surprised to see the vast array of ages, 20 up to 75-plus, but most importantly, the smiles and laughter filling the room.”

As Pigtown has had its share of urban struggles, the community located near M&T Stadium just off of Martin Luther King Boulevard is giddy to be experiencing a renaissance, perhaps with roots in twinkle toes and a nod and a dip here and there.

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TIDBITS: Broad Street Realty announced this week that BSV Crestview Square LLC has acquired 68,000-square-foot Crestview Square Shopping Center at 6747 Annapolis Road in Landover Hills, Prince George’s County. Crestview is an investment partnership controlled by the principals of Broad Street Realty… Manekin LLC this week announced recent hires. Susan A. Homberg, vice president of real estate services for JPB Enterprises, was named a vice president, and Brendon Behan, an assistant vice president at McShea & Co., was named assistant vice president in Manekin’s brokerage division… Want a tour of the soon-to-be-finished John and Frances Angelos Law Center at the University of Baltimore? The local real estate group, CREW, is hosting a tour and happy hour in Mt. Vernon on Oct. 13 beginning at 4 p.m. at the Whiting Turner construction trailer, located on the south side of Mt. Royal Avenue. Reservations are required and the cost is $30 for CREW members and $40 for non-members. Go to www.crewbaltimore.org   for details.