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Peltz increases ownership in Legg Mason to 4.75 percent

Activist investor Nelson Peltz has increased his ownership stake in Baltimore money manager Legg Mason Inc., according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing this week. Peltz, who joined the company's board this fall after acquiring 4.3 percent of the company's stock, bought an additional 717,000 shares this week. That increases his holdings to just under 7.7 million shares, or 4.75 percent of the company. Peltz is known for targeting good but underperforming brands, but Legg Mason said he is not trying to push for the company's sale or breakup.

- Jamie Smith Hopkins

Stimulus money to fund city facade improvements

Up to 40 commercial buildings in five sections of Baltimore will receive facade improvements under an $800,000 revitalization program funded as part of the federal government's stimulus efforts and administered by the Baltimore Development Corp. The development agency announced this week that it is seeking proposals from architects to oversee facade renovations of privately owned buildings in Belair-Edison, Oldtown, Pigtown, West Baltimore Street and the Pennsylvania Avenue corridor. The money was awarded to Baltimore as part of the federal government's efforts to create jobs to help stimulate the economy through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Feb. 1 is the deadline for architects' proposals to BDC. Donna Langley, director of the Baltimore Main Streets Program, said she expects the facade improvement work to begin by spring. The maximum amount available for improving any one facade is $20,000, she said.

- Edward Gunts

Shea new president, CEO of EBDI; board chairman quits

Christopher Shea, who has served as the interim president and chief executive of East Baltimore Development Inc. since April, has been named its president and CEO. EBDI's board of directors announced Friday that Shea, 54, who came to EBDI in 2007 after serving as deputy housing commissioner for development for Baltimore, was its unanimous choice to head the seven-year-old organization after a seven-month search. He replaces John T. Shannon Jr., who left in April. EBDI is overseeing redevelopment of 88 acres north of the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions as a $1.8 billion community with housing, shops, offices, life science facilities, a school and a rail station. Its directors also said Friday that board chairman Joseph Haskins Jr., president and CEO of Harbor Bank of Maryland, is stepping down effective Dec. 31 and that Douglas W. Nelson, president of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, will serve as interim chairman.

- Edward Gunts

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