By Hallie Miller
December 1, 2020
T. Rowe Price Group, the Baltimore-based global investment group founded in the city in 1937, will move its headquarters out of its East Pratt Street high-rise that towers over the Inner Harbor downtown to a pair of new “green” office buildings in Harbor Point, the company said December 1.
The move, scheduled to occur by 2024, is just the latest by a major employer out of downtown Baltimore’s traditional office center for the modern environs offered by the fast-growing Harbor Point, located on the site of a former chromium plant between Harbor East and Fells Point. It comes against a backdrop of past concerns voiced by T. Rowe Price executives about crime downtown and rising worries about traffic congestion in Harbor East.
“T. Rowe Price is excited to make this commitment — it’s an investment in our people, in our clients, and in our community and continues our deep and long-standing connection to the City of Baltimore,” said William J. Stromberg, T. Rowe Price’s president and CEO.
He said the move, already recorded in a letter of intent, will help the organization hire and retain top talent.
In 2013, T. Rowe Price mulled relocating its headquarters to another neighborhood such as Harbor Point or out of the city altogether when its lease expired in 2017, but committed to remaining downtown through 2027 when it subsequently agreed to renew its lease for 10 years.
But now the company plans to move to about 450,000 square feet spanning two buildings in Harbor Point, where it will sign a 15-year lease for the space. It has enlisted Beatty Development Group in partnership with Armada Hoffler Properties for development and construction. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The firm’s reinvestment in Baltimore should be viewed as a signal to other major companies about the city’s economic stability, said Donald C. Fry, the Greater Baltimore Committee’s president and CEO.
“T. Rowe Price is a premier company that could have chosen to move its headquarters anywhere,” Fry said in a statement. “The company’s agreement to a long-term lease for its corporate headquarters at the Harbor Point location is a testament that the company remains deeply committed to Baltimore and its communities and believes in its future.”
T. Rowe Price’s new offices will include ample green spaces, an auditorium and a “campus-like” atmosphere with retail, dining and fitness options within walking distance, T. Rowe Price said in a news release.
The new headquarters might signal what’s to come for other companies as the challenge of luring employees back to traditional office spaces in the wake of the ongoing pandemic increases. Vaccines designed to prevent the coronavirus from spreading could start becoming available by the end of 2020, though not widely distributed until well into next year. So-called “non-essential” employees may start returning to workspaces by mid-to-late 2021, depending on the speed of distribution.
T. Rowe Price will retain its campus in Owings Mills, the company said, where it has about 3,800 employees.
Over the last week, the Baltimore Development Corp. has begun looking for developers to reshape Royal Farms Arena into a state-of-the-art event venue. The city’s development arm has also selected a design team to redesign downtown’s “Superblock,” its once-bustling five-and-dime store district, into a mixed-use commercial, residential and retail strip compatible with 21st century consumers.
To read the complete story, visit the Baltimore Sun website.
Source: Baltimore Sun