Leases  ·  Retail

Trade School Relocating to 55K-SF Space, Baltimore’s Largest Retail Lease of ’23


North American Trade Schools is relocating its space from Baltimore County to Baltimore City.

The company — which offers comprehensive training in air conditioning, electrical, diesel, heating, refrigeration and ventilation technology — inked a 55,000-square-foot lease at Northwest Plaza, a 230,000-square-foot shopping center owned by Klein Enterprises.

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The company will move to 5760 Wabash Avenue sometime next spring from a smaller space at the Security Square Mall at 6901 Security Boulevard, where it has been for more than a decade.

MacKenzie Commercial Real Estate Services brokered the deal on behalf of the tenant.

“The decision by North American Trade Schools to relocate is significant as it signals the renewed confidence being shown in Baltimore City and is reflective of its upwards trajectory,” Mike Ruocco, a principal at MacKenzie, told Commercial Observer. “We continue to see an uptick in activity for select retail space in different categories throughout the local market, with interest focused on high-profile retail centers and mixed-use projects offering immediate access to established and growing amenity bases and demographics.” 

The deal represents the largest retail lease in Baltimore this year, according to MacKenzie, using data collected from CoStar Group. It’s also the second largest in the greater Baltimore metropolitan area, trailing only Coppermine Gym’s 100,000-square-foot lease at 658 Boulton Street in Bel Air, Md., from earlier this year. MacKenzie also brokered that lease. 

Northwest Plaza is now 97 percent leased, with a tenant roster that also includes Harvest Fare Supermarket, Roses, Advance Auto Parts, Rite-Aid Pharmacy and BB&T. 

Joining Ruocco on the deal was MacKenzie’s Andrew Meeder, while Patricia Palumbo and Paul Weinberg at Klein Enterprises represented the landlord.

The rent was not disclosed, but average retail rent for the area is $18.79 per square foot, according to MacKenzie’s most recent retail market report.

Keith Loria can be reached at