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Arbutus leaders hope new sustainable community designation will spur revitalization, development

Arbutus has been named a sustainable community by the state of Maryland, a designation meant to bolster aging areas languishing from underinvestment.

The town is the 123rd community to get the classification and the ninth in Baltimore County, the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development announced Thursday.

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The designation will provide Arbutus with an edge in seeking state resources such as loans, grants, small business development, job creation, tourism and tax credits, according to a news release.

“A lot of people worked really hard to get it, and it just shows what happens when you get the right group of people working together for good,” said Bettina Tebo, president of the Greater Arbutus Business Association.

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Arbutus’ sustainable community is located south of University of Maryland Baltimore County’s campus, and borders Patapsco Valley State Park to the south and west. The area will serve as a hub for a diverse technology and industrial business community, the release states.

Last year, Arbutus’ community was hopeful that a state designation would spur investment and spawn revitalization in the town’s main business corridor.

Tebo previously admitted that the town “kinda dipped down and got a little stale.”

The residents, during a virtual kickoff meeting for the Arbutus sustainable communities designation application in Oct. 2020, lamented vacant and derelict buildings in the area.

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Arbutus has also been designated as a Local Historic District, a Commercial Revitalization District, a Design Review Area, and a County Enterprise Zone, which will further encourage neighborhood revitalization and economic development.

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