HAMPSTEAD — Trenton Business Center will attract small manufacturing companies to this growing North Carroll town, owner Charles C. Harwood said.
"This will be an ideal location for an individual who is looking to put a small manufacturing company on a couple of acres," Harwood said of his 36-acre tract across from the Jos. A. Bank Clothiers headquarters on Route 30.
Harwood, president of Pembroke Development Co. in Owings Mills, Baltimore County, bought the industrial site and seven adjoining acreslast July 1.
Harwood estimated about 300,000 square feet of spacewill be available for small to medium manufacturing businesses with some combination of warehouses and offices.
"It will probably take18 months to two years before the property is ready. We are just taking it slow," Harwood said.
"We have no real plans, because the market for industrial land is just not there right now. If you look further down the road and realize that Owings Mills can not accommodate small industrial users, there will be more than enough demand to makethis project a success," he said.
"We were looking for industrialland, and there was very little that was for sale in northwest Baltimore County that could be purchased reasonably. If an individual wanted to find two acres to put up a small manufacturing facility, he would probably pay around $225,000 an acre," he said.
"I would hope that when this project is developed, we might be looking at a price that is half that amount."
Plans for the center received preliminaryapproval from the Hampstead Planning and Zoning Commission Sept. 30.
"Right now, we are dividing the 36 acres into 13 plots, approximately 2.5 acres each, so that they can be sold off separately," he said.
By next spring, he expects to receive final approval from the commission, which would allow him to record lots and begin construction on the roads and infrastructure.
The property, which is inside town limits, will have access to public water and sewer.
Mayor C. Clinton Becker said the Trenton Business Center will be the first of its kind in town.
"The way it is proposed now the center will be predominantly warehouse industry," Becker said. "I would hope that the center would benefit the tax base, since it would be businesses and there would not be a drain on services, such as schools."
"The Trenton Business Center will be in a prime location," said Arthur C. Moler, planning commission chairman.
"There are good roads all the wayout here without a lot of heavy traffic. With Hunt Valley filling upand other overflow businesses from the Baltimore area, the center should have no problem attracting business."
Accessibility has been a concern for business owners who have looked at a separate industrial tract of about 400 acres at the intersection of routes 30 and 482. The land is owned by Carroll
County Health Services, the parent company of Carroll County General Hospital.
"We lost a business fromAnne Arundel County which was looking to expand on this property," Moler said. "They looked at the property and would have bought it if the state highway administration and the county could have assured them that the bypass would be completed by the time they were ready to move."
Last October, Elite Spice Inc. in Jessup had an option to buy 27 acres, or three lots. The company's owner said he would not buy the land unless it was likely a Route 30 bypass would be built in thenext four years.
Engineering work has been done on the bypass, but no money has been allocated for construction and a start date has not been set.