Q&A With BECO Management’s Levi Cohen
- Jun 07, 2015
The BECO Towers office complex in Owings Mills has so far this year been one of the Greater Baltimore office market’s success stories. Since this January, BECO Management, Inc. has leased more than 52,000 square feet of space at the 330,000-square-foot property, located just off of I-795, reducing the total vacancy by 50 percent.
Levi Cohen, asset manager for BECO Management, tells us more about the BECO Towers and about his company’s future plans in Owings Mills and the Greater Baltimore area.
Q: How has the Baltimore office market performed in 2015?
A: The Baltimore office market has been steady throughout the year so far—vacancy has remained at about 16% for about a year. What we do know is that people are moving to spaces in high quality buildings, as most of the net absorption in the Baltimore market has been in Class A buildings.
Q: What about the Owings Mills submarket?
A: While BECO is experiencing a lot of success in the Owings Mills submarket with a gain of about 50,000 square feet of tenant space, the market itself has been flat with no real absorption yet this year.
Q: You’ve managed to sign an impressive number of tenants at BECO Towers in a short period of time. What do you think sets your office complex apart from others?
A: BECO Towers has undergone a number of renovations in the past year and a half and features numerous amenities, but even more important than that is BECO’s approach to developing true partnerships with tenants. What sets us apart is that BECO goes above and beyond to make the workplace extraordinary for their employees, and when prospective tenants understand that, I think it cements their decision to move to BECO Towers. And of course, that approach is widespread throughout BECO Management—not just in Owings Mills.
Q: Your company has several other office properties in the Washington-Baltimore area. Are they all performing as well as BECO Towers?
A: They are all performing quite well, but in different ways. BECO Towers I and II were only 50% occupied when we acquired the buildings last winter, so there were a number of open spaces and a lot of flexibility. At our other buildings, we don’t have that level of vacancy so there is less leasing activity. Our portfolio is very stable at about 90% leased, and prospective tenants at other buildings are responding very well to our focus on bettering life at work through extraordinary spaces.
Q: Are you currently working on any other deals for BECO Towers? If so, can you tell us some names of potential tenants and/or the amount of space they will occupy in Owings Mills?
A: We are working on five different deals at BECO Towers at the moment, totaling about 25,000 square feet of space.
Q: The first half of the year has been great for BECO Towers. How do you expect the second half to perform?
A: I am very optimistic about the second half of the year. Our objective is to fully lease BECO Towers with 90-95% of the space leased, and I think we will be able to reach that goal given our standout approach in the Owings Mills submarket.