The Baltimore Metro chapter of the Associated Builders & Contractors, a nonprofit trade organization, has named Merritt Properties the winner of two Excellence Awards, one for the green redevelopment of a suburban office building and the other for its multi-million dollar restoration of one of downtown Baltimore’s most distinctive buildings.
Schilling Green, a Class A office building located at 230 Schilling Circle in Hunt Valley, won in the LEED Renovation category. LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design), created by the U.S. Green Building Council, has become the industry standard for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings.
With developable land in the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area becoming increasingly limited, Merritt saw the opportunity to turn Schilling Green, once a subpar office building in Hunt Valley, into a showcase for adaptive reuse. Completed in 2008, Schilling Green has taken on new life as a registered LEED Class A office building, intended for Gold certification.
Throughout the renovation process, Merritt’s primary focus was on resource conservation, including following strict guidelines for materials disposal and recycling. Other areas of focus included reducing energy and water consumption, establishing rigorous air quality guidelines and a major lobby renovation that makes full use of natural light. All of this was achieved by salvaging 50 percent of the existing structure, while recycling more than 80 percent of the demolition waste and 75 percent of the construction waste.
729 East Pratt
729 East Pratt, which won for Interior Fit-Out Over $1 Million, was originally built in the late 1800s as a warehouse for the Scarlet Seed Company. Merritt transformed the building into a commercial office and retail project in the 1980s, with 85,000 square feet of office space and 15,000 square feet of street level retail. The 14-story Scarlett Place Condominiums were attached to the office building in 1987 but are independently owned and operated.
When the building was initially redeveloped, much of building’s industrial character was deliberately concealed in keeping with 1980s trends. Since then, demand for office space with industrial character has soared. The current renovation at 729 East Pratt integrates contemporary design and amenities with many of the project’s original features.
Highlights of the $2 million renovation include revealing the building’s industrial character — exposed brick walls, 13-18’ ceilings throughout much of the main floor, steel columns, reclaimed wood floors and hammered wire glass windows used as lighting features.
Merritt also moved the building’s main entrance from the side to the more prestigious corner of Pratt and President Streets, giving the building its new name and a new address, 729 East Pratt. In addition to a distinctive new lobby, office amenities include water views, secured parking and renovated restrooms. The building is within walking distance of both the Inner Harbor and Harbor East developments.
Since the building was occupied during the renovations, Merritt had to undertake its ambitious plans while maintaining services, such as elevators and utilities, and without interrupting customers’ business operations. In keeping with its commitment to green building, the company also followed many of the construction procedures in place for its LEED-certified projects.
Associated Builders & Contractors, known as ABC, is a national nonprofit trade association. With more than 23,000 members, ABC is the fastest growing trade association in the country.
About Merritt Properties
As an established market leader with more than 40 years of experience and success, Merritt Properties has an unmatched reputation for our commitment to our customers and the communities we serve. With nearly 15 million square feet in more than 70 locations, Merritt owns and manages the largest privately held commercial real estate portfolio in the Baltimore/Washington area.