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Baltimore zoning code changes to be subject of public hearings

Beginning Oct. 19, the city’s Department of Planning will hold a series of public meetings on a draft of the city’s new zoning code.

The last time such changes were made, Johnny U was lofting TD passes for the Baltimore Colts.

This version of the zoning redo has been crafted over the past year. Before that, for nearly two years, planners, residents and other public officials worked to compile a version that was aired during meetings held around town last summer.

The latest version of the draft zoning code is available online at www.rewritebaltimore.org or at all branches of the Enoch Pratt Free Library.

The public meetings will be held:

•    Oct. 19 at 6 p.m. at the Baltimore City Department of Planning, 417 E. Fayette St., 8th floor
•    Oct. 20 at 6 p.m. at the city’s Department of Recreation and Parks headquarters in Druid Hill Park, 3001 East Drive
•    Oct. 25 at 6 p.m. at Morgan State University’s Student Center, Room 212
•    Oct. 26 at 6 p.m. at Baltimore Polytechnic High School, in the cafeteria
•    Nov. 2 at noon at the city’s Department of Planning

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This week, Caves Valley Partners topped out a new building at 1111 Light Street in Federal Hill, across the street from the Cross Street Market.

Already, 7-Eleven and M&T Bank have inked leases for ground-floor retail space, say officials at MacKenzie Commercial Real Estate Services. About 20,700 square feet of Class A office space on the three higher floors awaits tenants.

“We are moving quickly to complete the building and start leasing in a market with limited availability of this kind of office product,” said Arsh Mirmiran, Director of Development at Caves Valley Partners, in a statement.

Occupancy is expected to begin in early 2012. Nearby, a 93-unit apartment building is also under construction.

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The strip mall at 1711 York Road in Lutherville has been sold to B&G York LLC for $2.3 million, reports officials from KLNB Retail, which brokered the deal.

The center, sold by Mid Atlantic Properties Inc., is completely leased and is located about a mile from the York Road exit of the Beltway near Best Buy and National Tire and Battery. The price nets $290 per square foot in value.

“We continue to see a tremendous appetite for well-located retail projects in the Washington D.C.-Baltimore region,” Gil Neuman of KLNB Retail said in a statement. “This asset’s dense high-income location attracted nine offers — many all cash — despite its non-credit rent roll and structure of short-lease terms. Buyers competed eagerly at a level experienced during 2007, which again reflects the current low supply and high demand environment that we continue to operate in.”

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HGTV’s show “My First Place” is looking for locals to tell their story of life in Charm City.
The show chronicles the highs and lows of first-time home buyers as they experience the housing market from a grassroots-level. Pitch potential home buyers to Lauren Miles, the casting producer for the show, at lmiles@highnoontv.com.

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TIDBITS: Merritt Properties has signed a lease with the organic food producer Whitewave Foods Co. for 4,080 square feet of space at 8850 Stanford Blvd. in Columbia … Suffolk Construction celebrated the opening of the Maryland Neuroimaging Center at the University of Maryland in College Park, a 9,000-square-foot project that encompassed the Avrum Gudelsky Building, an existing research facility, into a new center featuring a Siemens T-3 functional magnetic resonance imaging machine. The work was designed by Baltimore architects Murphy + Dittenhafer … The U.S. General Services Administration has leased 16,604 square feet of office space at 217 E. Redwood Street, Cushman & Wakefield reported this week. The space is located at the 23-story Redwood Tower downtown, a development owned by Carlyle Development Group. Like many other center city commercial properties, the building has a significant amount of vacant space: 92,405 square feet of space, about 35 percent of the building, is available for lease.