Beauty company brings nearly 70 employees to new Charles Street offices

A unit of an international beauty company will relocate from Hanover to Baltimore City this summer, occupying nearly 15,000 square feet in a Charles Street building owned by attorney Peter Angelos.

Kao USA Inc., a subsidiary of Japan-based KAO Corp., will bring nearly 70 employees to 100 N. Charles Street from its current Hanover offices, according to a news release. The new 15th floor offices at One Charles Center are to serve as the headquarters for the Kao Salon Division, which manufactures and distributes products, including the Goldwell and KMS California brands. 

"With the improvements and investments made within Baltimore's Inner Harbor and downtown business districts over the past several years, this area emerged as an attractive location for a leading health and beauty company," Trevor Attenborough, president and general manager of Kao Salon Division, said in a statement. "This Charles Center location places us in the virtual heart of Baltimore City and represents the ideal spot as we continue to grow our national presence and gain market share."

One Charles Center, designed by architect Mies Van Der Rohe and completed in 1963, is owned by Artemis Properties, Inc., the commercial real estate company founded by Peter Angelos, also the owner of the Orioles. The 350,000-square-foot office tower is about 65 percent leased, said David Johnson, Artemis’s new executive vice president.

In addition to One Charles Center, Artemis' holdings include the 210 N. Charles Street former Fidelity building, which dates to 1893, and the 10 N. Charles glass cube, bordered by a news ticker and formerly occupied by Johns Hopkins. The company has more than 1 million square feet of space in Maryland.

Johnson, who called the Kao lease a "significant win for the city," said the company is focused on finding tenants and perhaps converting some of the properties to new use. The Charles Street corridor has suffered from high vacancy rates as traditional tenants move to newer buildings along Pratt Street and in Harbor East.

"We have a very clear vision and focus of what we have to do here, we just have to roll it out,” he said.

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