June 10, 2021
Johns Hopkins University has delivered the second vote of confidence for the future of the Pratt Street corridor in less than a month.
The Bloomberg School of Public Health and other Hopkins departments just inked a deal to renew its lease of 118,000 square feet of office space at the historic 700 E. Pratt St. building. The university has been an anchor in the downtown landmark that sits across from Power Plant on the waterfront for several years.
Hopkins' decision to renew its lease comes amid a mounting crisis of vacancies, downsizing and moves by several institutions and companies, leaving a vacancy rate of about 24% in the downtown and central business district areas. One bright spot came last month when law firm Silverman, Thompson, Slutkin, White signed the first lease on Pratt Street since Covid-19 hit. The firm is moving into 21,000 square feet of space at 400 E. Pratt St. from its current offices at 201 N. Charles St. early next year.
700 E. Pratt St. — formerly known as the Candler Building — totals 589,380 square feet and stretches 12-stories near Pier 4 at the
The 12-story building was sold to Herndon, Virginia-based American Real Estate Partners in 2017 for $60.1 million, and the new owners then pumped $15 million in upgrades to its interior and office plate designs.
That convinced some tenants like Hopkins to stay put, said Bronwyn LeGette, a broker for Cushman & Wakefield who helped broker the lease extension, along with David Downey who represented the owners.
"They have done a fantastic job of place-making and delivery of renovations that underscored they wanted to remain in the building and support the central business district," LeGette said on Thursday.
700 E. Pratt was once a warehouse for the Coca-Cola Co. and then was converted to local headquarters for Exxon and Firestone Tire and Rubber. It is significant in its design because it was one of the first buildings in Baltimore to be developed with reinforced concrete.
“We are thrilled to see that our customers are finding the value in returning to AREP’s wellness-positioned workplaces — places where people want to be to collaborate and innovate,” said Paul Schulman, principal at AREP, in a statement.