Downtown Baltimore’s recognizable ticker building will turn into into a new hub for Internet of Things tech.
Located at Charles and Fayette streets, the 40,000-square-foot building was purchased by Beltsville-based Alertus Technologies. The company plans to move its corporate headquarters there, and turn it into an immersive technology hub known as the Center for Intelligent Buildings.
It’ll serve as a space to develop and showcase Alertus’ technology, which includes systems for mass notifications used by universities and businesses in the event of an emergency like a weather event or active shooter. When it initially opens in winter 2022, this will bring the Ziger/Snead-designed building back online about a decade after Johns Hopkins Carey Business School moved to Harbor East, even as the news ticker has kept running.
“It is equipped as a high-tech academic building, and we’re going to transform this landmark in the city into this building of the future,” CEO Jason Volk said.
The Center will contain a range of building technologies needed for emergency management. The company has mass notifications that are sent via communications networks and over devices and digital signs. The tech also ranges from the infrastructure like IT assets, network communications and facilities, to access control, to systems that control elevators and provide surveillance, as well as sensors. Volk said these types of technologies typically exist apart. The company plans to put them under one roof, and use its own IoT platform to integrate them.
“There is no other destination where you can find all of these domains and systems working together as one in a common environment, Volk said.
Along with the technology, the building also has a 200-seat auditorium and training spaces that are already in place, as well as office and lab space which the company will look to put to work.
Serving as the corporate headquarters, the move comes as Alertus is looking to grow. The company currently has 125 employees, and engineering and development roles in software, embedded software and hardware are expected to be open in the dozens; check out its current open roles. Volk said the company is seeking technologists with a passion for IoT.
The company will stay rooted in Maryland. Founded in 2002, Alertus started after a tornado ripped through the University of Maryland College Park campus. It was also soon after 9/11. Volk said the technology has evolved over time, and the company has built up capabilities.
The move looks like a win for downtown Baltimore, which on the whole has seen struggles in the pandemic with a challenged retail sector, and corporations decamping for new buildings east of Inner Harbor. The move by Alertus shows that even as established companies move out to the new developments, others can move in and reinvent space.
In Baltimore, Volk said the company is moving close to a concentration of talent, as well as the amenities of city life and proximity to an airport where the professionals and clients traveling in to visit the building can get in and out of easily.
“We view it as a great opportunity for our current employees and future employees,” he said.-30-