Expansion of eastern enterprise zone OK'd

jobs, new investment are city's goals for effort in Cedonia

April 13, 2000|By Gerard Shields | Gerard Shields,SUN STAFF

Hoping to stimulate city job growth and new business investment, the Baltimore Board of Estimates yesterday approved expanding the East Baltimore State Enterprise Zone to encompass 2,400 more acres of the Cedonia section of the city.

The city's five-member spending panel accepted the recommendations of the Baltimore Development Corp., the city's nonprofit economic development arm, and also approved establishing the city's first "focus" area in the Carroll-Camden area.

State enterprise zones offer property and employment tax credits for 10 years to eligible industrial and commercial businesses that make capital investments to their property or create additional jobs.

Now covering Orangeville, Canton and Holabird, the 4,400-acre East Baltimore enterprise zone would expand under a new section bounded by Frankford Avenue, Pulaski Highway, Belair Road and the city-county line. The expansion requires Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development approval.

BDC President M. J. "Jay" Brodie told the board that the focus area will allow the city to take advantage of a state law enacted in October that allows it to offer businesses in the area additional personal and real property tax incentives. The focus areas are approved by meeting three of five criteria that are based on unemployment, poverty, crime, housing and commercial vacancy rates, Brodie said.

The proposed Carroll-Camden Focus Area will encompass a portion of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and a northern boundary that includes Monroe Street, Washington Village, Washington Boulevard and Carroll and Nanticoke streets with Interstate 95 as the southern boundary.

By creating the area, the BDC hopes to stimulate investment by existing businesses and property owners and promote reusing vacant and underutilized industrial and commercial properties, Brodie said.

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