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January 6, 2011 

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There must be something in the water (or maybe the textbooks) at Baltimore universities. Johns Hopkins received a $30M gift for a new building at its Homewood campus this week, about a week after the University of Maryland’s BioPark got $65M in bond financing for a new lab (but you knew that after reading us on Tuesday).


Liberty Media Corp CEO and JHU alum John Malone made the donation. Malone Hall (named after Utah Jazz star Karl Malone, we presume) will be a 56k SF complex housing both the infrastructure-focused Systems Institute as well as a cutting-edge individualized health program. We’re told the total cost of the project is $35M, with no word on where the additional $5M will come from (something tells us with friends like these, JHU won’t have a problem covering the spread). The university has yet to select an architect and is shooting for LEED Silver certification.




Those Columbus-doubters were right. The world is flat, with globalization allowing for collaboration across the seven seas. We’re throwing our globes out the window to congratulate Baltimore-based DDG for being appointed lead planning and design architect for China’s largest mall, which will be located 20 minutes outside of downtown Beijing. The 4M SF (or 372k square meter) complex will feature seven levels of retail, and project leader Ahsin Rasheed tells us “anybody who’s anybody” in fashion will be there (for us nobody who's nobody, that means think Cartier, Armani, and Gucci). The mall is part of a 9M SF master-planned development that will include an opera house, natural history museum, and grand library. Construction is already underway, with delivery in 2012.

Ahsin says DDG’s been in China for over a decade and that 98% of the firm’s recent business is international. Pictured above is a high-end residential development they recently worked on in Shanghai, dubbed Vizcaya at Jinqaio.




Former Continental Realty CIO (and Hopkins alum) Dave Strouse is starting his own shop, Birchwood Capital Partners. Unlike the Colts, he’ll be staying in Baltimore (although we can’t blame him for having an office in palmy Ft. Myers, Fla.) and plans to leverage his relationships to focus on three areas: development, serving as a financial intermediary, and acquisitions in the $5M to $100M range. Dave thinks falling asset pricing and increased investor attention in the mid-Atlantic and southwest Florida means CRE will continue on a path of gradual recovery. Sounds like a plan—after all, he’s closed over $100M in development projects and 100 leases.




Congrats to Cassidy Turley’s Andrew Faraone, Ryan O'Keefe, (pictured above, clearly the camera was jittery with excitement) Zubin David, Nancy Martin, and Charles Wagandt, all promoted to associate VP this week. In other names on the move, Ballard Spahr is welcoming Kim Betterton as a partner to its tax advisory service (she specializes in municipal bond issues), and Joan Renner was appointed 2011 chapter president for CREW-Baltimore. Best of luck!


What’s the word? We’d love to hear. Contact Michael.leon@bisnow.com.

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