Kirk-Stieff building to get polished look; Struever to convert silversmith site into high-tech offices; Real estate


The old Kirk-Stieff silversmith building in Baltimore will be given new life as a high-tech office building, the developer that recently purchased the building said yesterday.

The 80,000-square-foot building overlooking the Jones Falls Valley has been purchased by Struever Bros., Eccles & Rouse Inc. for $1.5 million.

When renovations are completed in the first quarter of next year, the 72-year-old building will be marketed as multitenant office space.

Much of the architectural character of the structure, including its high ceilings and wood floors, will be retained. The Kirk-Stieff sign on the roof also will be kept.

"It will be an urban office building with suburbanlike, on-site free parking," said Alan Orman, a vice president of Colliers Pinkard, the commercial real estate company that handled the sale.

Kirk-Stieff was the product of a 1979 merger of Samuel Kirk & Sons, founded in 1815, and the Stieff Co., started in 1892 by Charles C. Stieff. Both were Baltimore companies.

In 1990, Kirk-Stieff was acquired by Lenox Inc., a unit of Brown-Forman Corp., based in Louisville, Ky.

In 1998, Lenox announced that it was closing the company's landmark Hampden plant. The silversmith operations were consolidated last year into Lenox's Smithfield, R.I., operations.

This is not the first manufacturing plant to be converted into office space by Struever Bros. The Towson company is involved in the renovation of the old Coca-Cola syrup plant in Locust Point and is reconstructing the former Procter & Gamble detergent factory a few blocks from the Coca-Cola plant.

It also renovated the old American Can Co. complex in Canton.

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