Balto. Co. considers funding for training facility, shopping centers

A Woodlawn adult work force training center and two Essex shopping centers are rounding out the last of Baltimore County's stimulus projects.

The Baltimore County Council will consider approving $8.8 million in "Recovery Zone Facility" and revenue bonds — which will allow the developers of the projects to borrow at lower, tax-exempt interest rates — for the three projects at its Dec. 6 meeting. Seven other projects were previously approved.

The bonds will go toward renovations at the Country Ridge Shopping Center and a new shopping center on Eastern Boulevard in Essex, and a training center for developmentally disabled adults on Lord Baltimore Drive in Woodlawn. The borrowers will likely save 1 to 2 percentage points in interest rates, said David Iannucci, executive director of the Baltimore County Department of Economic Development.

The developments will result in more jobs, expanded physical facilities and a higher tax base, he said.

The county must issue the bonds by Dec. 31.

Among the three projects up for approval next week:

•The National Center on Institutions and Alternatives is expected to begin construction on the new training facility in December. The 19,000-square-foot building will be located on a 1.3 acre parcel of land on Lord Baltimore Drive. The company plans to add 62 employees — growing from 134 to 196 — over the next four years.

•The shopping center in Essex will be located at the current site of a diner and vacant building on Eastern Boulevard. The diner will remain. A dry cleaner and convenience store will likely be added to the site. Construction will start in January and run through July 2012.

•Renovations at Country Ridge Shopping Center are expected to attract a grocery store and other businesses. Construction is expected to begin in January and be completed in July 2011.

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