Merging two organizations into one

Baltimore’s voice for behavioral health and wellness

Square Feet

20,080 s.f.


100 South Charles Street, Baltimore, MD

Behavioral Health System Baltimore (BHSB) is a nonprofit organization that develops, implements and aligns resources, programs, and policies to support the behavioral health and wellness of the local community. Based in downtown Baltimore and led by President and CEO, Crista Taylor, BHSB provides leadership in advancing behavioral health and wellness, ultimately building a system that comprehensively addresses mental health and substance use disorders. When it comes to policy and change, BHSB is a voice for the community.

BHSB was formed through the merger of Baltimore Substance Abuse System and Baltimore Mental Health System as a response to a changing need for care in Baltimore. At the time of the merger, BHSB was operating in unfavorable space, with employees and resources spread across three separate floors, serviced by two elevator banks in one building. Ultimately, BHSB leadership realized that this disconnected layout was preventing the two groups from truly leveraging their potential as a unified organization.

JLL’s Bob Manekin helped BHSB identify a termination option within their current lease so they could explore other opportunities. With his help, BHSB found a more viable option with favorable lease terms at 100 South Charles Street. This opportunity allowed the organization to consolidate to a single floor, creating greater efficiency and a more connected culture. Considering the recent merger, it was important that everything about the new office boost morale and productivity, including the new furniture and layout. BHSB being new to the build out and move process, worked closely with JLL’s project manager, Maria Demma. She helped develop the right team, architect, general contractor and furniture vendor to execute this project within their timeline and tenant improvement allowance. Along with the completion of the new space, Maria assisted with the move and decommissioning of the existing space at 1 North Charles. This involved removing old furniture, moving some existing furniture to the new office and removing a fire suppression system in the server room. BHSB’s new space allows for community collaboration among the staff and the large training room allows them to share their space with the organizations they support. The new café creates a strong sense of collaboration among employees.

The new location at 100 South Charles Street near the Inner Harbor places BHSB in a vibrant, bustling area, allowing employees to network and meet new people outside of the organization. Employees also benefit from the proximity to the courthouse, police station and city hall, where employees need to go frequently for their work.

Although it took some time for employees to adapt to an open workspace, the new design has allowed for greater connection among employees and leadership. A sense of comradery permeates every corner of the office. From the cheerful reception area with its wall of employee headshots, to the bright training room that hosts both company and public events, the new BHSB office communicates the importance of trust and strong relationships among employees, clients, and the community.