BALTIMORE-Law firm Tydings & Rosenberg LLP is extending its lease of 37,000 sf at 100 East Pratt St., a Class A, 28-story tower office building in Baltimore, through 2017. According to George Wells, senior regional director, Asset Management of Wells Real Estate Investment Trust II in Atlanta, the building’s owner, tenants at 100 East Pratt St. are paying market rates for Class A space, which now hover in the upper 20s to lower 30s.

There is a moderate level of demand for Class A office space in Baltimore now, he tells, which has traditionally been limited to perhaps six or so buildings, most of which are located on Pratt St. Demand is increasing, albeit slowly, for various reasons: vacancies in the Baltimore office market in general are decreasing—according to Delta Associates they are expected to decline to 10.9% from 11.7% over the next two years.

Also, there is little other Class A product in the pipeline, Wells adds. “Demand for Class A is primarily coming from tenants in other buildings that are taking the opportunity to cycle out of older buildings and upgrade to Class A.” From his vantage point, most of this growth has been organic—that is, Baltimore firms expanding operations—as opposed to out of town tenants setting up shop in the city.

Activity in the Washington, DC, market, though, is having some impact on Baltimore’s real estate. More government contractors are moving in; also Maryland is one of the submarkets expected to benefit from the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) initiative.

Not all of these companies will demand Class A buildings, however. 100 East Pratt is particularly unique, Wells says, because of its terrace that looks directly out onto the water. “We predominately compete with two or three buildings in the city.”

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