Case Study: Towson City Center

A 15-story office building, located in the heart of Towson, Maryland, stood vacant for almost a decade. In 2010, Caves Valley Partners (CVP) acquired the building and set about to provide a full makeover of the high-rise building while reusing the existing structure. That same year, the schematic design was approved and the design team started to collaborate.

To undertake this challenging renovation, CVP turned to Chesapeake Contracting Group (the general contractor), Brasher Architects (the architect) and Morabito Consultants (the structural engineer.) The redevelopment plan called for a complete overhaul of the existing 35-year-old building. With the exception of the structural steel, slabs and elevator core - all of the building systems and the entire building skin were to be replaced. The project would structurally repair the three-story garage and modernize 12 levels of office space and a mechanical penthouse.

At the onset, the design team worked with their sights on achieving LEED certification. This added additional tasks to the process and required the general contractor to pay special attention to sequencing and constructability. There were several challenges over the course of the 168,000 SF renovation, including a low existing floor-to-floor height, an out-of-plumb high-rise building and extensive structural repairs in the parking garage. The renovation included a new 12-story glass curtain wall system and a design-build MEP, requiring the replacement of the mechanical and electrical systems. As tenant improvement designs for Mile One and Towson University came on board, construction became an intense coordination process.

Towson City Center was completed on time and on budget in July 2012. The once vacant structure is now a state-of-the-art, Class-A office building. An icon of sustainability in Baltimore County, the project was awarded LEED Silver certification. It also won NAIOP-MD’s Best Office Rehabilitation and Best Social Impact by as well as ABC Baltimore’s Award of Excellence. Albeit a challenging project, Towson City Center is a great example of urban adaptive reuse.

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