28 Oct Marketing Agency Vitamin Relocating its Headquarters to Fed…
Digital-first, integrated marketing agency Vitamin is moving its headquarters from Highlandtown to 720 Light St. in Federal Hill. The three-story, approximately 6,000 sq. ft. building serves as a gateway to Federal Hill as it sits at the corner of Light St. and Key Hwy.
720 Light St. was the former home of The Joseph E. Shaner Company which was acquired in 2017. Vitamin co-owners and wife and husband Amanda Karfakis and Mike Karfakis purchased the building in January and have begun renovations. Amanda Karfakis and Mike Karfakis were looking all over Baltimore City for a new headquarters as they were outgrowing their 2,000 sq. ft. space in Highlandtown.
“Federal Hill really spoke to us for a lot reasons,” said Amanda Karfakis. “We are in a neighborhood now and wanted that again.”
She noted that the location, which is also across the street from the Inner Harbor, will allow the team to walk to many places for lunch, walk to the harbor, have a walking meeting, and attend stadium events without moving their cars.
“The visibility is what tipped us over the top,” said Amanda Karfakis. She talked about the northern facade that is visible for several blocks up Light St. and the high traffic volume at the intersection. Vitamin plans on adding signage to the roof or facade. That same visibility gives the office building views of Downtown and the Inner Harbor that she calls “absolutely ridiculous.”
Vitamin had an office inside the Broom Factory in Canton before moving to a rowhouse office space at 3237 Eastern Ave. Amanda Karfakis said the street-level visibility has been successful for the company.
Amanda and Mike Karfakis have experience renovating Baltimore properties and said buying was a “strategic and economic decision.”
“We are able to eliminate some of the threats renters face and it allows us to remain nimble,” said Amanda Karfakis. “We don’t have to report to a landlord, we can make our own decisions.”
All three floors, plus the basement, will be renovated at 720 Light St. The basement will have a kitchen and entertainment area with a pool table and arcade games; workspaces will occupy the three floors; and a rooftop deck will be added. There will be interior bike racks, a shower for employee use after lunchtime workouts, and a water filtration system to help eliminate single-use plastics. The interior design layout was crafted to “spur greater employee collaboration and creativity and accommodate a range of simultaneous meetings and events.”
Mike Karfakis started Vitamin in 2002 and Amanda Karfakis joined the company a few years later.
Vitamin currently has 15 employees and envisions growing to 25 employees in the next five years. Vitamin’s employees include developers, account executives, project managers, copyrighters, art directors, and executive positions. Vitamin is currently hiring for several different positions.
Amanda Karfakis said the majority of the team lives in Baltimore City and can bike or walk to work at the new location. Vitamin does not have any of its own parking at 720 Light St., but is in conversations to partner with local parking lots or garages in the area.
Amanda Karfakis says they want to keep the company independent and small. She grew up in the diner business and Mike Karfakis grew up in the food service business and both describe themselves as people who want to interact with clients and team members every day.
Vitamin is a full-service marketing company with services including branding, logo development, public relations, and website development. It helps companies with marketing, communications, and business growth. It also helps companies market themselves to get acquired.
Vitamin has many clients in commercial real estate, architecture, engineering, and construction, as well as works with companies in finance, health and human services, manufacturing, and nonprofit industries. Amanda Karfakis said the new location will put them very close to many of their clients and closer to the Washington, D.C. area where they also have contracts.
Vitamin worked with Joe Nolan of KLNB to acquire the building and RMF Engineering as the engineer on the project. Gaudreau, Inc. is the architect of record and Jensen Hughes is a consultant.
Photos and renderings courtesy of Vitamin
About the Author: Kevin Lynch
Founder and Publisher of SouthBmore.com, longtime resident of South Baltimore, and a graduate of Towson University. Diehard Ravens and O’s fan, beach volleyball enthusiast, dog lover, and “bar food” foodie. Email me at [email protected] and follow me on Twitter at @SoBoKevin.