Gaithersburg's loss is Halethorpe's gain



Environmental Quality Resources LLC, a Gaithersburg environmental construction company, plans to move its corporate headquarters and 125 jobs by late next year to a former industrial site in southwestern Baltimore County, the company said yesterday.

The company, which specializes in stream restoration projects, wetlands enhancement and storm-water management systems for local, state and federal agencies, has purchased 7.1 acres in Halethorpe for $619,000 and plans to invest another $2.5 million in redevelopment. The long vacant site was last used by Union Carbide Corp. as a staging area.

Environmental Quality Resources plans to build a 17,600-square- foot office/warehouse with space for a native-plant nursery to grow about 50,000 trees a year needed for the company's landscaping business.

An associated company, EcoDepot LLC, a maker of biodegradable landscape products, will also be housed on the site.

Carter B. McCamy, president of 14-year-old Environmental Quality Resources, said the company needed more space for its office workers and for warehouse use as well as better access to major highways and clients throughout the Mid-Atlantic.

McCamy said the company's work has increased, thanks to the restoration of the Chesapeake Bay and "as local municipalities and the federal government strive to protect the water going to the bay."

The new headquarters site, just off Interstate 695, is in one of two Baltimore County enterprise zones, making the company eligible for tax credits. Besides Halethorpe, the state also has designated the North Point area on the county's eastside as an enterprise zone.

"Certainly any time you have a new company moving into your business community, particularly in an underutilized industrial area, you're looking at two of the big pluses in economic development, capital investment and new jobs," said Fronda Cohen, a spokeswoman for the Baltimore County Economic Development Department. "Because of its location in an industrially zoned area, you're now turning a nonproductive piece of property into something productive."

She said the redevelopment plans are going through the county's development review process. The company hopes to complete construction by December 2006.

"The company will be an asset to our environmental green renaissance, and also contribute to the revitalization of Baltimore County's older industrial districts," said Baltimore County Executive James T. Smith Jr.

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