Businesses seeking commercial space in Maryland can get free confidential site-selection services from the state and local economic development agencies. These agencies maintain files of available commercial property and/or provide guidance in dealing with the business property market. The agencies offer a variety of assistance to businesses including helping new and expanding businesses secure financial underwriting, loan guarantees, tax breaks, and employee training. Listed below are the contact names, addresses, and phone numbers of site-selection assistance from the state Department of Economic and Employment Development and the 10 local economic development agencies in Baltimore and Maryland's Baltimore-Washington suburban counties. Brief information from these agencies on commercial properties, public financing, employee training, and enterprise zones and foreign trade zones (if any) is also listed under each jurisdiction.
State of Maryland
Department of Economic and Employment Development
James Peiffer, director business development
217 E. Redwood St. Baltimore Md. 21202
Commercial property: Prices for industrially-zoned sites with all utilities range up from $65,000 per acre in the Baltimore area, $90,000 per acre in the Maryland suburbs, and $9,000 per acre elsewhere in the state. Industrial property leases can be arranged at rates from $2 to $7 a square foot depending on the location and condition of the buildings. Buildings can be constructed to a tenant's specifications under a lease or lease-purchase agreement.
Financing: the state offers new or expanding businesses financial assistance, including insurance for working capital loans and long-term financing of fixed assets. It offers small businesses surety -bond financing, equity financing for franchises, and financing for export operations.
Employee training: The state has job training programs for new and expanding businesses tailored to the manpower needs of the company. The state helps fund short-term training for business start-ups and its programs assist in personnel recruitment and applicant screening.
Enterprise zone: The 14 state enterprise zones offer property-tax reductions and income tax credits to eligible firms. Six of the zones are in Central Maryland, six are in Western Maryland, and two are on the Eastern Shore.
Foreign trade zone: The three foreign trade zones in Maryland, which offer reduced or exempted customs duties, are located near the port of Baltimore, at Baltimore-Washington International Airport in Anne Arundel County and in Upper Marlboro in Prince George's County.
Anne Arundel County
Office of Economic Development
Lynn Palmer, business representative for commercial property, international trade
2666 Riva Road Suite 410
Annapolis, Md. 21401
Commercial property: Total office space is about 10 million square feet with a 20 percent vacancy rate. Another 11 million square feet is industrial building space. The five largest industrial/ business parks are Baltimore Commons (300 acres), Piney Orchard Business Park (300 acres), Baymeadow Industrial Park (220 acres), Parkway Industrial Center (265 acres), and Brandon Woods Energy Business Park (200 acres). Piney Orchard is the newest park. A 120-acres set of properties called Anne Arundel Crossing East and West are expected to open in 1991, and a 300-acre Dorchester Business Park is expected to open in about two years.
Financing: in addition to state aid, the county arranges industrial revenue bond financing, direct loans, through its incentive loan fund, and, starting this year, loan guarantees.
Employee training: In addition to state programs, the county's Office of Manpower has employee training programs.
Enterprise zone: None
Foreign trade zone: The Baltimore-Washington International Airport Foreign Trade Zone. Includes BWI's 110,000 square-foot air cargo handling complex and 21.7 acres of land for development.
Baltimore Economic Development Corp.
Larry Smith, marketing task force director
36 S. Charles St.
Baltimore, Md. 21201
Commercial property: Downtown Baltimore accounts for about 13 million of the city's 15 million square feet of office space with a vacancy rate of about 15 percent. The largest industrial and business parks in the city include Seton Business Park (150 acres) with land available for high-tech firms in Northwest Baltimore, Johns Hopkins Bayview Research Campus (131 acres) in East Baltimore, and Port Covington (130 acres) on the Middle Branch, and Holabird Industrial Park (170 acres) in East Baltimore.
Financing: In addition to state assistance, the city offers a venture capital fund for eligible firms in manufacturing, research and development, and corporate services.
Employee training: State programs
Enterprise zones: Park Circle Industrial Park (with a 100,000-square-foot business incubator, Waterview Industrial Park, Port Covington, and a 400-acrec portion of West Baltimore offer tax advantages.