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Clinic to buy Cathedral St. building


Chase-Brexton Clinic Inc. said it will buy the 20,000-square-foot office building at 1001 Cathedral St. by the end of the month, giving the city's second-biggest AIDS clinic needed expansion space and generating a new use for a building that had been foreclosed upon.

"We've been looking for over a year; it's right in the neighborhood, so there's very little disruption to our patients," Chase-Brexton marketing director Erica Spradlin said. "The great thing is that there's room for growth. We've tripled our staff size, volunteers and patients in the last two years."

The clinic now occupies 6,800 square feet in the Medical Arts Building at Read and Cathedral streets and serves 1,300 patients, Ms. Spradlin said. Figures from the Baltimore City Health Department estimate that about 20,000 people in Baltimore are infected with the human immunodeficiency virus, which causes AIDS.

Chase-Brexton signed a contract on the building last month and will close on or about Dec. 29, Ms. Spradlin said. The clinic agreed to pay Signet Bank/Maryland $550,000 for the four-story structure. It houses an art gallery, an architecture firm and a photography studio but is still more than half-empty.

The building was renovated in the late 1980s by G. W. Helfrich Inc. It was 80 percent vacant when Signet bought it back at a foreclosure auction for $700,000 last December.

The clinic will initially move into two floors of the building and expand into the rest as existing tenant leases expire, Ms. Spradlin said. She said the clinic hopes to increase its patient base by about 400 once more space becomes available. The group is still raising money to pay for $240,000 of interior renovations.

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