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Senior housing opening on Memorial Stadium site

Rising four stories over what once was home plate at Memorial Stadium, a new senior housing and skilled nursing care facility is set to open Thursday at 1 p.m.

The $12.6 million Green House Residences at Stadium Place will mark the latest addition to the massive redevelopment of the stadium site on 33rd Street, including the busy Harry and Jeanette Weinberg YMCA.

The Green House Residences has 48 bedrooms, 12 on each floor, that are located off of a central living area called the hearth. Each bedroom has a large, tiled bathroom and a picture window.

Nearby, a modern, open kitchen will welcome seniors as breakfast, lunch and dinner are cooked by trained staffers and served at a large dining table with windows that overlook the new Ripken Youth Sports Park, where the hallowed playing field of Memorial Stadium once stood. Kids regularly gather there for recreation league baseball and lacrosse games.

“It’s a radically different way of providing long-term care,” said Nate Sweeney, the facility’s administrator. “We’re de-institutionalizing the elders environment. Families walk in and their faces change. They see what can and should be offered. It’s a wave of relief. It’s hope.”

The charge for a long-term room at the Green House is about $299 per day, said Bob Keenan, a spokesman for Catholic Charities of Baltimore. The facility accepts Medicare payments for a post-surgical rehab stay that requires skilled nursing and rehab stays, he added.

The project was developed by the Govans Ecumenical Development Corp., or GEDCO, and will be operated by Catholic Charities. The development will produce 55 full-time jobs, and a majority of the workers will come from surrounding neighborhoods.

Already, three residents have moved in.

The Green House model was developed a decade ago by William Thomas, a geriatrician from New York state and a professor at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. The facility aims to use technology, smaller living areas than most nursing homes and access to natural light and open spaces to help promote a more compassionate, comfortable atmosphere.

The 33rd Street location is the second urban Green House facility in the U.S., Keenan said, the first one located in a suburb of Boston. Green House residences first opened in 2003 in Tupelo, Miss., and today there are more than 100 such facilities in 27 states.

True to the geography, the ceremonies on 33rd Street Thursday will have a baseball Opening Day theme. There will not be a ribbon cutting, instead, a resident will deliver a first pitch. Hot dogs, peanuts and Cracker Jacks will be on the menu.

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A task force studying historic rehabs of properties in Baltimore County will meet on Tuesday at 2 p.m. at 105 W. Chesapeake Avenue, Suite 101. The group is a part of the county’s Department of Planning and aims to clarify and publish written policies issues relating to the types of properties and historic rehab work eligible for the Baltimore County historic property tax credits.

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Olympia Sports has signed a lease to open a 4,600-square foot store this fall in Pasadena at Lakeshore Plaza.

The regional sporting goods and apparel retailer with more than 200 locations recently inked the deal with St. John Properties Inc., which recently pumped $3 million into the site for upgrades.

Overall, the plaza is 94 percent leased and has 161,000 square feet of retail space near the intersection of Route 100 and Magothy Beach Road.

Another retailer, CPR Cell Phone Repair, also recently signed a lease for 1,200 square foot store.

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Despite the sluggish economy, owners of Yorkridge Shopping Center in Lutherville this week announced they had inked the final deals to fully lease the 180,000-square-foot shopping center.

The addition of  the 3,079-square-foot Towson Hot Bagels & Deli and a new 3,150-square foot location of Massage Envy filled the Schwaber Holdings project located at 20 W. Ridgley Rd. Also located in the center are Kohl’s, Michaels and MOM’s Organic Market.

The Towson Hot Bagels & Deli will open its third location in the Baltimore metropolitan region within Yorkridge Shopping Center next month. Massage Envy has more than 700 locations nationwide.

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The University of Maryland Faculty Physicians Inc., the faculty practice plan of the University of Maryland School of Medicine, has signed a lease for a new 8,182-square-foot physician office at the Columbia Medical Campus.

The new office will be located at 5500 Knoll North Drive in Columbia, brokers CBRE announced. The services will open with faculty members from the University of Maryland School of Medicine’s Department of Orthopaedics to introduce services into Howard County.

The 155,000-square-foot medical campus is a two-building complex located at the intersection of Routes 175 and 29. Built in 1982, the project underwent significant renovations in 2007 by owner Montecito Medical Investments.

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A report released this week showed that the Baltimore metropolitan industrial market posted a strong first quarter with more than 600,000 square feet of positive absorption.

The Cassidy Turley report showed that a strong demand drove the overall market vacancy rate down to 12.6 percent and the area warehouse vacancy rate was 12.6 percent.

The report also stated that the Interstate 95 corridor had the strongest first quarter in the submarkets of the region as nearly 720,000 square feet of the more than 42 million square feet of total inventory in the corridor was leased, bringing the vacancy rate to 12.5 percent.

Average asking rents increased in the first quarter to $5.11 per square foot, the report said.

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TIDBITS: The Baltimore Development Corp. said this week it has received three proposals for redevelopment of the historic Parkway Theatre, located at 3 W. North Ave. One proposal would allow the Maryland Film Festival to develop a three-screen movie theatre at the site. The other proposals would create arts-related venues, including community gathering space and live-entertainment. The BDC is reviewing the proposals … The beloved Mt. Washington Tavern, destroyed by a fire Oct. 31 could reopen by the late fall. The North Baltimore Patch reported this week the restaurant and bar is now being reconstructed … Farm life in Maryland will be highlighted in a new documentary, “The Maryland Harvest” Tuesday beginning at 9 p.m. on Maryland Public Television. The show will be produced by Houpla Inc. and hosted by local chef Al Spoler and highlights area chefs including Cindy Wolf of Charleston, Spike Gjerde of Woodberry Kitchen, David McCallum of the Tilghman Island Inn and Rob Plant of Blue Wind Gourmet through the state’s farm growing seasons.