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Former Moose lodge to become offices

February 28, 2002|By JULIE E. GREENE

A Downsville Pike building that once served as Moose International's largest North American lodge is being renovated into office space, a local attorney said Wednesday.

The space could be ready for occupancy by August, Michael Day said. Day is one of five partners in 632 Joint Venture, which bought the property from Moose International Inc. in 1997 for $1 million, according to Day and Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation records.

The partnership is negotiating for tenants, but knows of at least two businesses that will move into the 10715 Downsville Pike building, Day said. Those are the Law Offices of Michael G. Day & Associates and Creative Investments Associates.

The building, built in 1979, was home to Moose Lodge 212 until February 1994 when the lodge was shut down by Moose International.

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The lodge closed when Moose International revoked the lodge's charter amid allegations of rules violations and financial problems.

The closing coincided with a racial-discrimination lawsuit and the highly publicized membership rejection of a black man who had applied for membership.

Day said the building has been vacant since the lodge closed.

There had been some talk of opening a restaurant in the building, but the partners decided to renovate it for office space.

The opening of the Downsville Pike ramp to Interstate 70 in September 1999 makes the building more attractive to office tenants, he said.

Renovations began two months ago and will cost more than $1 million, Day said. Windows will be added to the brick building.

The 24,219-square-foot building is on less than one acre in a 7.19-acre lot, according to Day and property records. The rest of the land was used by Moose members for parking and picnic areas, he said.

That land eventually will be developed, Day said.

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