May 26, 2021

Transamerica the latest company moving offices to Harbor Point

By  of the Baltimore Business Journal

Transamerica Corp. is joining the parade of companies moving their offices from Baltimore’s central business district to glitzy new space in Harbor Point.

The financial services giant has agreed to lease the 35,000-square-feet eighth floor in the Wills Wharf office building, according to an announcement by Armada Hoffler Properties Inc., a majority owner of the development. Transamerica’s move comes after the company directed its 550 downtown Baltimore employees to pack up their desks earlier this year at the company’s old digs at 100 Light St.

At Wills Wharf, Transamerica will join a list of tenants that includes Ernst & Young, Jellyfish and Bright Horizons. The 12-story building also includes the 156-room Canopy by Hilton. Transamerica will occupy space that was part of a once-planned 69,000-square-foot lease by WeWork, which was terminated last year.

Wills Wharf is now 58% leased. The 325,000-square-foot building is the fourth at Harbor Point and is located next to 1405 Point, a 289-unit apartment tower, Thames Street Wharf and the 21-story Exelon tower.

“Transamerica joins an already impressive roster of global companies – T. Rowe Price, Exelon, Morgan Stanley, and EY – all of whom call Harbor Point home,” Lou Haddad, president and CEO of Armada Hoffler (NYSE: AHH), said in a statement. “Transamerica’s commitment to Wills Wharf further validates Harbor Point as the premier mixed-use development in the market.”

A spokeswoman for Transamerica could not be reached.

The loss of Transamerica leaves a gaping hole in Baltimore’s tallest tower at 100 Light, where the company has occupied 125,109 square feet of space on eight floors since 2011. Building owner Corporate Offices Properties Trust declined to comment on the move.

Transamerica’s move is also the latest in a series of departures by companies from the central business district. T. Rowe Price Group Inc. is leaving a 450,000-square-foot-sized hole at 100 E. Pratt in favor of a new headquarters being developed by Armada Hoffler in Harbor Point. Bank of America in March said it would also move its local offices to the Legg Mason tower in Harbor East.

Wells Fargo, currently located at 7 St. Paul St., and Pandora Jewelry, which has its North America headquarters at 250 W. Pratt St., are also considering relocating or downsizing their office spaces.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan hopes to fill vacancies by moving several agencies, consisting of 3,300 employees, from the State Center complex in Midtown to downtown Baltimore. The state issued its first requests for proposals last month seeking office space for the Department of Human Services and the Department of Health.

Meanwhile, for Harbor Point, Haddad told investors during a conference call earlier this month that he is excited about the prospects for Baltimore. He had hinted that Armada Hoffler would be locking in a new lease shortly.

“I tell you, we are extremely excited about what’s going on at the Baltimore waterfront,” Haddad said during the May 4 call. “You heard me mention earlier, the state is bringing some 3,300 employees into the CBD, which is certainly going to help downtown Baltimore and tangentially help the Harbor by not having problems next door. And with T. Rowe Price essentially committing to a long-term lease with 1,700 employees, the activity has just really picked up.

“So our expectation is that, behind that, 40,000 square feet is a like amount that we hope to sign prior to the end of the year, if not sooner.”

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