Com­cast’s re­gional of­fice mov­ing to S. Bal­ti­more

Baltimore Sun - - ELECTION 2016 - By Natalie Sher­man nsh­er­man@balt­sun.com

When Com­cast Corp. lead­ers first took a tour of McHenry Row in South Bal­ti­more, the leas­ing bro­ker doubted the ca­ble and me­dia gi­ant was se­ri­ous about rent­ing space in the prop­erty.

The Penn­syl­va­nia firm had a large and long­stand­ing pres­ence in Bal­ti­more County, where it em­ployed more than 1,000 peo­ple last year, ac­cord­ing to the state.

But on Thurs­day, de­vel­oper Mark Sap­per­stein said Com­cast had signed a lease for more than 28,000 square feet at McHenry Row, where it plans to re­lo­cate a re­gional of­fice from White Marsh and bring 140 cor­po­rate work­ers into the city next year.

“I didn’t be­lieve they would do it, but they did,” said Joseph P. Nolan, a principal at the NAI KLNBreal es­tate bro­ker­age, who rep­re­sented Sap­per­stein’s 28 Walker De­vel­op­ment on the deal. “I was a lit­tle sur­prised.” Sur­prised and not sur­prised. The deal comes as com­pa­nies in­creas­ingly look to ur­ban ar­eas in an ef­fort to at­tract work­ers, es­pe­cially younger ones who like to live in cities, Nolan said.

Com­cast fol­lows other firms, in­clud­ing Mind­grub and Mary­land Auto In­sur­ance Fund, that have moved to the Fort Av­enue pro­ject from out­side Bal­ti­more.

Com­cast in­tends to main­tain of­fice lo­ca­tions in the county, spokes­woman El­iza Find­lay said Thurs­day. She de­clined to be spe­cific or talk more about the deal, say­ing the com­pany is still work­ing on the plans.

Sap­per­stein’s mixed-use pro­ject of­fers free park­ing to of­fice ten­ants, easy ac­cess to Interstate 95 and a gro­cery store and nu­mer­ous restaurants. But he’s been sur­prised by the demand.

“Very sur­prised,” he said, adding that he is hope­ful McHenry Row’s suc­cess speaks to a broader trend.

The in­ter­est in the Lo­cust Point site is so strong Sap­per­stein in­tends to present plans for an ad­di­tional 85,000 to 100,000 square feet of of­fices to the city next week. He’s also plan­ning a 119-room ho­tel.

The Com­cast deal brings the 215,000 square feet of of­fices at McHenry Row’s Ban­ner Build­ing to f ully l eased.

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