Bel Air Academy site owner gets the OK to proceed with apartment/townhouse development

Nearly four years after he purchased the historic Bel Air Academy building at auction, property owner John Zoulis can move ahead with plans to redevelop the site with apartments and townhouses. “We would like to get it in production, to make it viable again and bring it back to life,” Zoulis said Monday. The Bel Air Planning Commission approved, during its Jan. 3 meeting, a site plan and a landscape plan for the 12-unit townhouse segment of the project. The commission members also re-elected Lois Kissinger Kelly as chair and Peter Schlehr as vice chair. (Aegis)

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Biotech to create 170 jobs, invest $28M in new Rockville HQ

London-based Autolus Therapeutics said Monday it plans to create up to 170 jobs at its new U.S. headquarters and manufacturing facility in Rockville over the next three years and invest about $28 million in the 85,000-square-foot project planned for the Shady Grove Life Sciences Center. The project will get a boost from a $200,000 Economic Development Fund conditional grant from the county, while the state of Maryland is providing a $525,000 Advantage Maryland conditional loan. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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Law firm expands, renews lease in Baltimore's B&O building

As the vacancy rate in Baltimore's central business district posts at a record 33 percent, a lease renewal at 2 N. Charles St. has prompted a sense of optimism. The law firm of Franklin & Prokopik PC inked a deal this month to expand onto another floor and renew its lease totaling more than 37,000 square feet in the ornate, former headquarters of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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Transit-oriented developments could reshape Baltimore's commuting landscape, but hurdles remain

Tens of thousands of people ride the subway to the Owings Mills station every month, and developer Howard S. Brown is betting a portion of them will want to live, eat and work there, too. His David S. Brown Enterprises has been fashioning an urban-style community adjacent to the Metro station, where trains depart every 10 minutes or so for the 15-mile run from Baltimore’s northwestern suburbs to Johns Hopkins Hospital in East Baltimore. (Balt. Sun)

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Federal government shutdown taking a toll on Maryland businesses

The partial shutdown of the federal government could have a noticeable effect on Maryland businesses, effects that may ripple into the state’s economy at large. As the shutdown continued into its 21st day Friday, the total effect it has had on Maryland’s economy is unclear, but a continuing closing of much of the federal government could cost hundreds of millions of dollars. (Daily Record)

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Baltimore-based Lutheran World Relief merging with global health organization to broaden reach to families in extreme poverty

Baltimore-based Lutheran World Relief is merging with a global health organization to broaden its reach in the impoverished nations it serves from Latin America to Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Daniel V. Speckhard, a former U.S. ambassador who’s led Lutheran World Relief since 2014 and will lead the partnership, said together the organizations can help build and grow poor, rural communities by teaching the people in them how to feed and support their families — and how to become healthier. (Balt. Sun)

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Residents share frustrations over rapid growth and development in Frederick

For about a year, a group of Frederick residents has gathered most Fridays for coffee and breakfast in a back room at Serendipity Market to discuss various aspects of growth and development. Somewhere along the way, the group of six or seven people from various neighborhoods in the city began narrowing their focus to Frederick’s adequate public facilities ordinance, or APFO, and on ways to curtail the effects of what they see as a rapid influx of new homes and the impact on infrastructure and quality of life. The city’s APFO ties public infrastructure to growth for proposed development. (News-Post)

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Purple Line delays will cost at least $215 million, contractor says

The opening of Maryland’s Purple Line is at least a year behind schedule, and delays have added at least $215 million to the light-rail line’s cost, according to project documents. Purple Line Transit Partners (PLTP), a team of companies building the 16-mile line and helping to finance its construction, has told the state the line won’t begin carrying passengers until February 2023. That’s almost a year behind the March 2022 opening date in the project’s contract and four months behind the October 2022 date that Maryland transit officials insist is still possible, according to reports obtained by The Washington Post through public record requests. (Wash. Post) 

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