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Stifel Shrinking Baltimore Footprint In Shift From Downtown To Harbor Point

Investment banking and wealth management firm Stifel Financial Corp. is the latest office tenant to shift away from downtown Baltimore, and it is reducing its footprint in the process. 

The Wills Wharf building at Harbor Point

The company signed a 35K SF lease at the Wills Wharf building at Harbor Point, landlord Armada Hoffler announced Tuesday. 

Stifel occupies 84K SF at downtown's One South Street, where it has its name on the building, the Baltimore Business Journal reports

A Stifel spokesperson told Bisnow the firm is retaining one floor of offices at One South Street. Cushman & Wakefield, the leasing representative for the building, announced Wednesday that Stifel signed a 21K SF extension.

The new deals shrink the firm's total Baltimore footprint by about 21% to 56K SF. 

JLL's Peter Jackson represented the landlord in the Wills Wharf deal, while Cushman & Wakefield's David Downey Jr., Courtenay Jenkins and Scott Shelbourne represented Stifel in the new lease and the renewal. Cushman & Wakefield's Linn Worthington represented the owner of One South Street, YBL Equities. 

The One South Street building sold a year ago to BHN Associates for $24M, down from the $66M it sold for in 2015, The Baltimore Sun reported. BHN and YBL are affiliates of the same firm, a Cushman & Wakefield spokesperson said. C&W said the new owner has made "significant" investments in the building and has signed several extensions and one new tenant, Blades & Rosenfeld. 

For Harbor Point, the lease brings its more than 1M SF of office space to 98% leased, Armada Hoffler said in its release. The Virginia Beach, Virginia-based REIT owns the 27-acre mixed-use project on the waterfront in between the Inner Harbor and Fells Point through a partnership with Beatty Development

The 12-story, 330K SF Wills Wharf broke ground in June 2018 as the fourth building at Harbor Point. Two months later, it signed its first office tenant, digital marketing agency Jellyfish. Earlier this year, law firm Duane Morris LLP signed a 10K SF lease at Wills Wharf, relocating from Harbor East. 

Stifel's move comes as another major financial firm is relocating from downtown to Harbor Point later this year. T. Rowe Price announced in 2020 it plans to vacate its 450K SF office at 100 E. Pratt St., a pending move that has led that building's valuation to drop by 45%. 

These shifts have caused the vacancy rate in Baltimore's central business district to reach 21.6%, according to CBRE's second-quarter report. But companies are downsizing offices due to remote work across the whole city, as Baltimore's overall office vacancy sits at 20.8%. That is up from 18.9% at the end of 2021 and 16.8% at the end of 2019.