Report: Baltimore office market sluggish, but shows potential

Demand for office space in Baltimore is expected to surpass new supply and keep pace with the suburbs in the next two years, according to a recent report. In the next 24 months, vacancy in the city is projected to drop 120 basis points and vacancy in the suburbs to fall 10 basis points, according to Newmark Knight Frank’s 2018 fourth-quarter market report. 1 N. Charles St. in Baltimore lured new tenants in 2018 attributable to property upgrades, MacKenzie Commercial Real Estate reported in 2018. (Daily Record) 

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Chipotle, Panda Express sign onto Yard 56 project in Greektown

The Yard 56 development in Greektown — on the site of the former Pemco — has signed restaurant chains Chipotle and Panda Express and has other deals in the works. The new eateries are expected to join anchor tenants LA Fitness and Streets Market & Cafe in the 106,000-square-foot retail phase of the 20-acre project at 5601 Eastern Ave. Overall, the development will total up to 2.2 million square feet of retail, office and hotel space with 1,100 parking spaces. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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Analysis: Bad stuff the stock market worried about is starting to happen

All of a sudden, the fundamentals aren't looking as strong. First it was Apple's $5 billion revenue miss, hints of which lopped 30 percent from its stock over three months. Now it's a closely watched gauge of U.S. factory activity, which dropped to a two-year low and missed every estimate in a Bloomberg survey. What's going on? Over and over in the fourth quarter, as the S&P 500 plunged 19.8 percent to the brink of a bear market, investors heard the same refrain: don't panic, the economy, and corporate earnings, look strong. (Balt. Sun)

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Detailed Report Shows Airbnb’s Impact On Maryland Counties; $1.5M In Rental Income Collected In Worcester

While Ocean City officials continue to grapple with the short-term rental issue, at least one of the companies providing the service in the resort and across Maryland this week reported a banner year in 2018. For well over a year, Ocean City has been monitoring the proliferation of short-term vacation rentals in the resort brokered by online platforms such as Airbnb and VRBO, for example. In fact, the short-term vacation rental issue was an agenda item on a tourism commission meeting on Thursday held too late to be included in this edition. (Dispatch)

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Shore Bancshares sells insurance subsidiary for $25.2M

Easton-based Shore Bancshares Inc. and The Avon-Dixon Agency LLC, the company’s wholly-owned insurance producer firm completed the asset sale with Avon-Dixon, an Alera Group Agency LLC, a Delaware limited liability company and subsidiary of Alera Group Inc., pursuant to which Alera purchased substantially all of the assets of Avon-Dixon. The transaction resulted in Shore Bancshares receiving approximately $25.2 million in cash from Alera. Shore Bancshares is a financial holding company and is the largest independent bank holding company on the Eastern Shore.

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Maryland firm BrainScope wins FDA clearance for concussion-detecting tech

Bethesda's BrainScope Co. Inc. has landed a new federal clearance, validating its technology's ability to detect and assess concussions. BrainScope makes a portable medical device that can quickly assess a range of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). The company's tech recently received clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use as a “multi-modal, multi-parameter assessment,” to determine the likelihood that someone has suffered a "concussion" or "mild traumatic brain injury," and evaluate how severe the injury may be. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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Omega Healthcare Investors buys another health facility owner, this one for $600 million

Omega Healthcare Investors, a Hunt Valley-based real estate investment trust, will acquire MedEquities Realty Trust, the companies announced Wednesday. Omega, which has been expanding through numerous acquisitions in recent years, will acquire all outstanding shares of Nashville, Tennessee-based MedEquities, valued at $600 million, in a move that adds 34 facilities in seven states. “This acquisition reinforces our commitment to the skilled nursing and senior housing industry, while adding new asset types to our portfolio furthering our strategic objectives,” said Taylor Pickett, Omega’s CEO, in a statement. (Balt. Sun)

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State says hundreds more Marylanders have applied for unemployment insurance related to federal government shutdown

Hundreds more Marylanders are seeking unemployment insurance benefits related to the federal government shutdown, the state said Wednesday as the funding impasse entered its 12th day. The Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation said it received 462 such benefit applications from Dec. 22 through Dec. 31. The state previously reported 169 applications from Dec. 22 — the day the funding impasse began — through Dec. 27. (Balt. Sun)

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