The new Towson Commons development on York Road got a major lift yesterday as Mutual of New York signed a long-term lease for 14,400 square feet of the new eight-story office building.
The office lease is the first with a tenant not involved in developing the $70 million mixed-use project, which also includes retail space. Towson Commons, which was proposed in 1989, had its grand opening last week.
"I was very impressed with the building," said Rick Spivey, agency manager for Mutual of New York's Towson office, which is now housed in two buildings on Loch Raven Boulevard.
Towson Commons, like many other office projects, has had a tough time leasing space during the recession. The Mutual of New York lease is the project's second office deal and brings the 190,000-square foot building to about 15 percent office occupancy. The first office tenant was a division of Amoco Oil Co., which owns part of Towson Commons.
But the Mutual of New York lease could be the beginning of a brighter future for LaSalle Partners, the project's lead developer. Towson-based VIPS Inc., a computer software company, is close to agreeing to lease 60,000 square feet of the building, about three of the eight office floors.
The total project is 10 stories, including retail and restaurant space. The retail space is about 65 percent leased.
Mr. Spivey said Mutual of New York will move about 55 sales representatives and 25 other workers to Towson Commons, probably about Oct. 1.