UMBC to get 4th research building

Addition planned at technology park

April 25, 2006|By LORRAINE MIRABELLA | LORRAINE MIRABELLA,SUN REPORTER

Corporate Office Properties Trust is planning the largest building thus far at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County's research and technology park in Catonsville.

The $22 million structure will be the fourth of five buildings planned for the 41-acre park on UMBC's main campus. Two buildings have been completed. Many of the tenants work with the university's researchers and students.

Corporate Office Properties, a suburban office developer, announced yesterday that it plans to build and own a 110,000-square-foot, four-story building aimed at the technology market.

The Columbia developer plans to break ground by the end of the year and complete the building by early 2008, said Ellen J. Hemmerly, executive director of the research and technology Park, known as bwtech@UMBC.

"We're hoping to bring in technology companies that will be interacting with the university, and we will be marketing the building to both [information technology] and engineering companies as well as life sciences," Hemmerly said.

Corporate Office Properties will lease the land from the UMBC Research Park Corp., the university nonprofit that owns and manages the research park.

The developer previously had announced that it would build and own the park's third office building, a 23,500-square-foot structure slated to open next spring. The building will house the U.S. Geological Survey's Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Water Science Center, now in White Marsh. The agency will employ more than 60 scientists and support staff members.

Nearly 50 UMBC faculty members are collaborating on projects at the research park and at an 165,000-square--foot, off-campus business incubator on South Rolling Road. About 100 students are employed part time or as interns at companies in the incubator and technology park, Hemmerly said.

The park should have about 1,250 employees when it is completed in about three to four years, Hemmerly said.

The research park opened in 2000 with the first, 60,000-square-foot building, designed specifically for RWD Technologies, an information technology and training services company.

The second building, also 60,000 square feet, is fully leased to a dozen technology and research groups, including Goddard Earth Sciences and Technology Center, software maker BDMetrics Inc. and health care media and education firm Med-IQ.

Hemmerly expects the UMBC park to complement two biotech parks being developed in the city. One is adjacent to Johns Hopkins' East Baltimore medical campus, for which ground was broken this month. Another project is west of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and is being spearheaded by the University of Maryland, Baltimore.

"Having the East Baltimore project and West Baltimore project and UMBC will enhance the region and have this become more of a destination for tech companies and R&D companies," Hemmerly said.

lorraine.mirabella@baltsun.com

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