Baltimore City, Arundel bid for Waverly


Baltimore City and Anne Arundel County are jockeying for position in the race to become the next home of Waverly Inc. But brokers aiding the publishing company insist that the localities are not moving toward a bidding war.

Still, as Waverly narrows its choices for about 75,000 square feet of office space to four buildings -- three in the city and one in Linthicum -- officials in both localities are, shall we say, trying to accommodate the company.

Baltimore is trying to allay Waverly's parking concerns and is considering buying the current headquarters in Mount Vernon, said Barry Barovick, director of corporate real estate consulting for Ernst & Young, which is advising Waverly. Anne Arundel is preparing information about ride-sharing and other programs that might become necessary as tougher air-pollution standards take effect.

In Baltimore, Waverly is looking at the Candler Building at 111 Market Place, Inner Harbor Center at 400 E. Pratt St. and the warehouse at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The Anne Arundel option is the Airport Square III building.

Waverly's criteria are fairly straightforward, said Mr. Barovick and a local broker, Wayne R. Gioso Jr. of Cockeysville-based Mid-Atlantic Properties Inc. At the top of the list: parking, location, price and security.

"[Waverly is] being totally objective about city vs. suburb," Mr. Barovick said.

The parking criterion would hurt the Candler Building most because it has no on-site parking. But a parking deck slated for the campus of Baltimore City Community College could help matters, Mr. Barovick said.

The warehouse, in addition to its cachet, has good parking (except for the handful of weekdays when the Orioles play in the afternoon) as well as excellent highway and mass-transit access. Inner Harbor Center has a big parking garage and is in a good position to be price-competitive, after having bought out its mortgage this year.

Airport Square, however, is cheaper, because surface parking is cheaper than garage parking.

2 retailers to anchor Baltimore County center

Developer Jack Pechter has nailed down deals with two big retailers to anchor JHP Development Inc.'s newest Baltimore County shopping center, Radcliffe Center, on the site of the old Towson Quality Inn.

CompUSA and Linens & Things have signed leases to be the main tenants in the 60,000-square-foot center, which Mr. Pechter said will open by May 1. Before the Quality Inn closed Oct. 3, Mr. Pechter had declined to name his anchor tenants because leases at the center were not final.

"Construction is proceeding; the site looks really good," he said, adding that Provident Bank of Maryland will also be a tenant.

Partnerships controlled by Mr. Pechter's family owned the Quality Inn but decided to convert the land to retail use because the 33-year-old inn needed renovations. The inn, just south of the Beltway on York Road, had a two-diamond rating from the Automobile Association of America.

CompUSA is a Texas-based computer chain that already has a store in Glen Burnie. Linens & Things is part of New York-based Melville Corp.

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