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Emergency mass notification company acquires Downtown Baltimore ‘ticker’ building

A technology company that specializes in sending mass emergency alerts is moving its headquarters into Downtown Baltimore’s well known “ticker tape” building once occupied by the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School.

Alertus Technologies, currently in Beltsville, acquired the 10 N. Charles St. with the scrolling digital headline ribbon, the company announced Tuesday. Terms of the sale were not disclosed.

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“We are excited about the future of Downtown Baltimore, which will offer our regional and national visitors easy accessibility by all modes of transportation and provide our employees with proximity to excellent amenities” Alertus CEO Jason Volk said in a Tuesday news release.

Alertus, which employs about 125 people, plans to redevelop it into an “intelligent building,” featuring products and systems it offers. Dubbed the Center for Intelligent Buildings, it will feature automated mass notification, surveillance, access control, intrusion detection, gunshot detection, fire systems, building controls and sensors, and digital signage, as well as auditorium space, technology labs, offices and corporate meeting space.

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“The new Center for Intelligent Buildings will demonstrate the possibilities for integrating historically disparate systems into a critical incident ecosystem to protect people and assets during an active shooter incident, tornado, and other threats,” Volk said.

Baltimore architecture firm Ziger/Snead designed the building, which Johns Hopkins vacated in 2010 for the Legg Mason building in Harbor East. The small four-story glass-and-steel building is valued at about $1.6 million for tax purposes by the state. It has been owned by Charlesview LLLP since 1997.

Downtown Baltimore has lost workers and visitors amid the coronavirus pandemic, but local business leaders say it could rebound with fresh ideas and new occupants once people transition back to more in-person engagements. Most employers’ plans about when and how to return employees fully back to work remain in flux and depend on factors such as increasing vaccination rates.

Alertus’ new headquarters could be completed by winter 2022, according to the release. The company plans to keep the ticker tape on the exterior, a spokesperson said.

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