As a result of BRAC and the transformation of Aberdeen Proving Ground, Harford County has seen unprecedented growth in recent years. More than 2,300 new jobs were created in just one year and the county welcomed more than 80 new defense contractors and eight new professional organizations to the area, according to the Harford County Office of Economic Development.
Recognizing the need for more meeting space in the area to accommodate BRAC growth, paired with the growing need for a high-quality destination complex in the county, engineer Jim Foulk and developer Clark Turner have joined forces to develop the Water's Edge Events Center and broke ground May 31.
"BRAC has transformed Aberdeen Proving Ground into the region's key workforce center and the state's third largest economic powerhouse," Foulk, co-owner of the Water's Edge Events Center and president and CEO of Chesapeake Testing, said in a press release. "These economic impacts have provided a strong case for the development of a large meeting and events facility in Harford County, which is exactly why Water's Edge Events Center will be a welcome addition to the community."
In December 2011, Harford County's Office of Economic Development and the Greater Baltimore Committee released a detailed study examining tourism-related economic development opportunities and challenges facing the county. The study found the meeting, convention and social event spaces in Harford County to be quite insufficient, concluding that the lack of adequate meeting space was forcing potential events to seek more suitable facilities elsewhere in the region, primarily in Baltimore and Philadelphia.
"The Water's Edge Events Center will finally meet the swelling demand for a state-of-the-art events venue in this area," Turner said in the release.
The highly anticipated events facility is the latest project to come to the Water's Edge Corporate Campus. Construction is scheduled to be completed in summer 2013.
"An event guest will first be greeted by the timeless architecture that compliments the existing Class A office buildings in the corporate park. Guests will step into a building filled with exquisite interior detailing and eventually work their way toward a natural light–filled banquet room with panoramic views of the Bush River," Turner said. The 31,588-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility will include a conference center, two banquet halls with water views and outdoor entertaining space and an executive private dining area. Water's Edge Events Center will welcome area military and government professionals, defense contractors and businesses for secure business meeting events and private citizens for weddings and events
The Water's Edge Events Center is another exciting addition to the Water's Edge Corporate Campus, previously the site of the old Bata Shoe factory, and will further extend the quality of the employee- and community-friendly environment of the campus. As Harford County's newest landmark, it is a welcome addition to the area and a further indication of the continued economic growth of the county.
When complete, facility tours will be provided to the public.