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Price opens new customer service center


T. Rowe Price Associates Inc. has found new space in its Pratt Street building for its investment center, the place where the mutual fund company's shareholders can walk in for service.

The center, which opened this week, moved to a 3,300-square-foot storefront at the intersection of Lombard and Calvert streets and is more than 50 percent larger than the neighboring space it had occupied since 1992, the company said.

The larger space was most recently occupied by the Strand, a "cybercafe" that moved out in the past year.

The center, similar to one the company maintains in Owings Mills, gives the Baltimore region's 65,000 shareholders a place to make account transactions, open new accounts and receive investment guidance. Information is available on retirement and college planning, diversifying investments, tax-free investing and international investing, among other topics.

"It moved for more space," said Natalie Donovan, an administrative assistant in Price's public relations department. "It's currently fully staffed."

The 650,000-square-foot building is prime office space in the city's central business district because it faces the Inner Harbor on the Pratt Street side. Boston Properties bought the 650,000-square- foot building in 1997 from IBM Corp. In addition to Price, tenants include IBM, Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc. and PaineWebber Inc.

The investment center's former space, 2,000 square feet on the street level of the building's parking garage, is the only available retail space in the building. Boston Property's building manager, Jim Taylor, said there's been interest in the spot.

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