Tax incentive zone approved around U.S. agencies in Woodlawn

Federal agencies will attract more businesses to Baltimore County

July 09, 2011|By Mary Gail Hare, The Baltimore Sun

Baltimore County officials expect tax credit incentives to spur redevelopment and job creation at the newly designated Federal Center in Woodlawn.

The 395-acre, industrially zoned parcel near the Beltway and Dogwood Road has won state approval as an enterprise zone, making its development eligible for substantial savings on state and county property taxes.

A qualifying company that makes a $5 million investment could realize a tax savings of nearly $375,000 over 10 years, according to a county release. Also Friday, the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development announced that enterprise zones in Baltimore City and Cambridge in Dorchester County will be expanded.

Revitalization will make outmoded buildings more attractive to the high-tech businesses that support federal agencies headquartered in Woodlawn and spur more economic development, officials said. Demand for space is growing in the area, where the Social Security Administration and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services together employ about 16,000 people with thousands more employed by contractors serving those agencies.

The county will undertake a study to make sure existing roads and utilities can support the expected industrial and commercial growth in the area. Officials have also pledged their support for transit-oriented development, notably the proposed Red Line light rail, a project that includes four Woodlawn stations.

Officials will push for fast-tracking of permits and inspections for redevelopment projects and will soon appoint a business representative to work with federal agencies and private developers.

The Baltimore City zone will grow by 112 acres to include the Jones Falls Reservoir area. The Cambridge site will add 507 acres to an existing 1,300-acre zone, state officials said.

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