The Johns Hopkins Gazette: November 16, 1998
Nov. 16, 1998
VOL. 28, NO. 12


Downtown Center Sets New Site

Johns Hopkins Gazette Online Edition

Renewing its commitment to downtown Baltimore, the university has signed a lease for the School of Continuing Studies to be the sole tenant of a new facility in the former Hamburger's building, on the southwest corner of Charles and Fayette streets. The school's graduate Division of Business and Management will consolidate its downtown classroom and office space at the new facility, expected to open in the fall of 2000.

Hopkins officials signed a 10-year lease for the 40,000-square-foot site, owned since 1997 by Baltimore attorney and businessman Peter Angelos.

An early conceptual rendering of the new Downtown Center shows a mix of glass, granite and stainless steel. A news ticker enlivens the facade facing Charles and Fayette streets.

"For more than 10 years, Hopkins has realized the benefits of having a campus in the center of Baltimore," said university president William R. Brody. "I am particularly pleased for the help and cooperation of both Peter Angelos and Mayor Schmoke in our efforts to relocate our Downtown Center to what will be a signature site in the heart of the city's business district. We are excited to have even greater visibility downtown and an opportunity to contribute to the area's revitalization."

Peter Angelos, who is a trustee of the university, said, "The decision to locate the Johns Hopkins Downtown Center at Charles and Fayette streets, the focal point of the central business district, heralds the second renaissance of Charles Center and, eventually, all of downtown Baltimore. The presence of Johns Hopkins, one of the premiere universities in the world, in so prominent a downtown location announces that Baltimore intends to move forward into the millennium committed to doing all that is necessary to remain a major American city."

Baltimore mayor Kurt L. Schmoke said, "I'm pleased that Johns Hopkins has recommitted to a very visible downtown presence by keeping its campus in the vital core of the city. It is another vote of confidence in the future of downtown, he said. "I want to thank Peter Angelos for his help in making this happen."

"The new Downtown Center reaffirms the preeminence of our graduate business division in Baltimore," said Stanley C. Gabor, dean of the School of Continuing Studies. "As the first and leading provider of master's degree programs in the downtown area, we have grown by partnering with the corporate community to meet its work force demands in management, information technology, finance and other key fields. [This move] allows Hopkins to continue its commitment to prepare and advance the careers of thousands of professionals in the city."

Ziger/Snead of Baltimore, winner of the American Institute of Architects' 1998 Grand Design Award for its conversion of the Automobile Association of America's former offices on Mt. Royal Avenue into an academic building for the Maryland Institute College of Art, has been selected as the project's architect.

Preliminary plans indicate a three-story building, with an entranceway facing the corner of Charles and Fayette streets. The building's facade will be a mix of reflective and clear glass panels and granite veneer with stainless steel accents. And unique to downtown Baltimore, it will feature a 24-hour news ticker wrapping around the building's front facade.

Featured in the state-of-the-art building will be:

eight "smart" classrooms, wired for multimedia and Internet access to the student's desktop;

two state-of-the-art computer labs with local and wide-area connectivity;

two executive conference rooms suitable for board meetings;

a seminar room for advanced graduate classes;

a 220-seat auditorium with video- conferencing capability;

an electronic library with access to a variety of online business databases including the Bloomberg Financial database, Lexis/Nexis and Dow Jones;

faculty and student lounges;

19 faculty and administrative offices for the school's Graduate Division of Business and Management;

offices for the Mid-Atlantic Regional Community Policing Institute, operated in cooperation with the Baltimore City Police and the U.S. Department of Justice;

Allan L. Berman Real Estate Institute.

The School of Continuing Studies opened a downtown campus in January 1987 with a $1 million contribution from Maryland National Bank to establish classrooms, computer labs and offices. By 1989, the center was outgrowing its original 8,500 square feet and began plans for expansion. In 1991, the 222-seat Jean R. and Allan L. Berman Auditorium was dedicated and the Allan L. Berman Real Estate Institute established, both through a $1.3 million contribution from Jean Berman in memory of her late husband.

Currently, graduate business classes are held in approximately 18,000 square feet of space in the Downtown Center at Charles Plaza, with enrollments of more than 3,500 annually.

Academic and professional development programs are offered days, evenings and weekends and include both credit and noncredit business courses in management, technology, marketing, information systems, finance and organizational development. The center serves more than 900 adult students in the credit and certificate programs. Courses also are offered through the school's Professional Development Institute, with approximately 1,600 business professionals taking a broad range of noncredit courses in such areas as database management, information systems technology and computer programming. The average Downtown Center student is 34 years old, and 75 percent of the students live or work in the Greater Baltimore area. Fifty-five percent of the student body is male and 45 percent, female; 20 percent represent minorities.

Construction of the building is expected to begin in summer 1999.