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War on the waterfront: Fells Point strikes back

So much for the spirit of the season manifesting a sense of cooperation between Baltimore’s central business district and the waterfront.

In a prospectus obtained this week that outlined a sales pitch for the Thames Street Wharf at Harbor Point, developer Michael Beatty’s brokers at CBRE hammered the city’s central core, which has suffered for the past several years with a 19 percent vacancy rate — due in part to new construction on the waterfront.

Beatty himself has frequently preached “one Baltimore” and recently joined the board of the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore.

The sales document, though, has a different take.

“Thames Street Wharf is far superior to all other Class A office assets in Baltimore,” the brochure states.

“In terms of quality and location, there is only one asset in the same league as the subject and that is the Legg Mason Tower. Baltimore’s Central Business District has no buildings that can realistically compete with these assets, and the CBD has experienced limited growth over the past two decades. The result is tenants have very limited options for high-quality assets that have large floor plates, state-of-the-art HVAC systems, security, amenities and adequate parking.

“Filling the need for high quality office, the master-planned, mixed-use nature of Harbor East-Harbor Point, with its quality of construction, its ample parking, its abundant amenities and its reputation as a true “destination” have come together to position this submarket as Baltimore’s premier business address, far outpacing the CBD.”

Renovations are planned for the 146 apartments in The Munsey downtown, purchased recently by L3C Capital Partners LLC of New York.

The 100-year-old building located at Calvert and Fayette Streets will be managed by Village Green. It was once the home of the Baltimore News, the city’s first radio station, and then the Equitable Trust Co. The 18-story structure was converted to a rental development in 2002 with studios and one, two and three-bedroom apartments up to 1,705 square feet in size.

Calvert Brewery and Admiral Elevator have leased a total of 50,000 square feet of space at Collington Trade Center in Upper Marlboro.

The brewery will lease 28,000 square feet and Admiral Elevator has leased 22,000 square feet. NAI KLNB closed the deal on both leases at the development, located near Route 214 and U.S. 301.

Calvert Brewery is owned by Calvert County-based Running Hare Vineyard and is the first microbrewery in Prince George’s County. The company will expand its brewing and bottling operations there.

Admiral Elevator’s business includes designing and installing elevators in the mid-Atlantic region.

Alan M. Coppola of NAI KLNB said in a statement that both companies were attracted to Collington Trade Center by its access to Baltimore, Washington, Annapolis and Columbia, and by its proximity to major highways. Other attractions: buildings that can facilitate a seamless move-in and a ramping-up to full operations, and a quality local work force.

Baltimore’s Klein Enterprises recently took stock of its past year.

The company broke ground or continued work on six projects, including a partnership to build a new, 538,000-square-foot Social Security Administration facility in Baltimore; the Marketplace in Fells Point; a Walgreen’s in Charles Town, W. Va., and a 108-unit apartment complex in Owings Mills, the Townes at Mill Run.

TIDBITS: Cushman & Wakefield of Maryland, Inc. said this week it had inked a 10,195-square-foot lease for Pulse Medical Transportation at 10715 Red Run Blvd. in Owings Mills. The company provides emergency critical care, non-emergency ambulance and wheelchair transportation and will relocate from 12 Music Fair Road … Parking meters in Catonsville, Towson, Parkville, Essex, Overlea, Pikesville, Arbutus, Stoneleigh and Dundalk will be bagged in bright red and green beginning Friday through Christmas day — and that means they’re free, a gift from Baltimore County … As noted in Real Estate Notebook last week, Batteries Plus Bulbs just opened a new store in Reisterstown. We said it was the largest chain in the U.S. to sell batteries, but as its name makes clear, it sells bulbs as well. The company says battery replacement is a $30.7 billion market in the U.S. and light bulbs are a $17 billion market. … Best of Luck Candy recently opened a kiosk at Maryland Live Casino. The company was voted “Best Sweet Treats” by Baltimore magazine … Pro Transport Inc. recently leased 8,100 square feet of warehouse space at 8833 Kelso Drive in Baltimore.