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News Maryland Howard County

Garage project touted as stimulus for Annapolis Junction development

Construction is expected to begin this spring on a commuter parking garage for Howard County's first transit oriented development, a project planned to eventually include apartments, stores, offices and a hotel.

County Executive Ken Ulman has approved a financing arrangement to pay for the $17 million job, a four-story, 704-space garage to be built next to the MARC Savage Station by the Somerset Construction company of Bethesda, and operated by the Maryland Department of Transportation. The project will be paid for under tax increment financing, an approach that uses anticipated tax gains to pay off bonds for public works improvements.

The plan for Annapolis Junction Town Center includes 416 apartments, more than 17,000 square feet of stores, a 150-room hotel and 100,000 square feet of offices. Work on the garage is expected to begin in April or May, with the rest to follow.

"This is exactly the type of project we need in Howard County to take complete advantage of our access to transit and our proximity to Fort Meade," Ulman said in a news release.

He said the Annapolis Junction project would provide housing and services for thousands of jobs that are anticipated to develop as the military pursues the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) program.

The state designated the 19-acre site near Dorsey Run Road, off Route 32, as a BRAC zone in hopes of capitalizing on the Pentagon's program.

The state also designated the area for transit-oriented development, an effort to put more homes, stores and workplaces near public transportation to curb traffic and sprawl.

arthur.hirsch@baltsun.com

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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