Help with selecting a business site


Businesses seeking commercial space in Maryland can get free confidential site-selection services from the state and local economic development agencies. These agencies maintain files of available commercial property and/or provide guidance in dealing with the business property market. The agencies offer a variety of assistance to businesses including helping new and expanding businesses secure financial underwriting, loan guarantees, tax breaks, and employee training. Listed below are the contact names, addresses, and phone numbers of site-selection assistance from the state Department of Economic and Employment Development and the 10 local economic development agencies in Baltimore and Maryland's Baltimore-Washington suburban counties. Brief information from these agencies on commercial properties, public financing, employee training, and enterprise zones and foreign trade zones (if any) is also listed under each jurisdiction.

State of Maryland

Department of Economic and Employment Development

James Peiffer, director business development

217 E. Redwood St. Baltimore Md. 21202


Commercial property: Prices for industrially-zoned sites with all utilities range up from $65,000 per acre in the Baltimore area, $90,000 per acre in the Maryland suburbs, and $9,000 per acre elsewhere in the state. Industrial property leases can be arranged at rates from $2 to $7 a square foot depending on the location and condition of the buildings. Buildings can be constructed to a tenant's specifications under a lease or lease-purchase agreement.

Financing: the state offers new or expanding businesses financial assistance, including insurance for working capital loans and long-term financing of fixed assets. It offers small businesses surety -bond financing, equity financing for franchises, and financing for export operations.

Employee training: The state has job training programs for new and expanding businesses tailored to the manpower needs of the company. The state helps fund short-term training for business start-ups and its programs assist in personnel recruitment and applicant screening.

Enterprise zone: The 14 state enterprise zones offer property-tax reductions and income tax credits to eligible firms. Six of the zones are in Central Maryland, six are in Western Maryland, and two are on the Eastern Shore.

Foreign trade zone: The three foreign trade zones in Maryland, which offer reduced or exempted customs duties, are located near the port of Baltimore, at Baltimore-Washington International Airport in Anne Arundel County and in Upper Marlboro in Prince George's County.

Anne Arundel County

Office of Economic Development

Lynn Palmer, business representative for commercial property, international trade

2666 Riva Road Suite 410

Annapolis, Md. 21401


Commercial property: Total office space is about 10 million square feet with a 20 percent vacancy rate. Another 11 million square feet is industrial building space. The five largest industrial/ business parks are Baltimore Commons (300 acres), Piney Orchard Business Park (300 acres), Baymeadow Industrial Park (220 acres), Parkway Industrial Center (265 acres), and Brandon Woods Energy Business Park (200 acres). Piney Orchard is the newest park. A 120-acres set of properties called Anne Arundel Crossing East and West are expected to open in 1991, and a 300-acre Dorchester Business Park is expected to open in about two years.

Financing: in addition to state aid, the county arranges industrial revenue bond financing, direct loans, through its incentive loan fund, and, starting this year, loan guarantees.

Employee training: In addition to state programs, the county's Office of Manpower has employee training programs.

Enterprise zone: None

Foreign trade zone: The Baltimore-Washington International Airport Foreign Trade Zone. Includes BWI's 110,000 square-foot air cargo handling complex and 21.7 acres of land for development.


Baltimore Economic Development Corp.

Larry Smith, marketing task force director

36 S. Charles St.

Baltimore, Md. 21201

Phone: 837-9305

Commercial property: Downtown Baltimore accounts for about 13 million of the city's 15 million square feet of office space with a vacancy rate of about 15 percent. The largest industrial and business parks in the city include Seton Business Park (150 acres) with land available for high-tech firms in Northwest Baltimore, Johns Hopkins Bayview Research Campus (131 acres) in East Baltimore, and Port Covington (130 acres) on the Middle Branch, and Holabird Industrial Park (170 acres) in East Baltimore.

Financing: In addition to state assistance, the city offers a venture capital fund for eligible firms in manufacturing, research and development, and corporate services.

Employee training: State programs

Enterprise zones: Park Circle Industrial Park (with a 100,000-square-foot business incubator, Waterview Industrial Park, Port Covington, and a 400-acrec portion of West Baltimore offer tax advantages.

Foreign trade zone: The Baltimore Freeport Centre (150 acres) near the port of Baltimore is a duty-free area for foreign trade involving warehousing, distribution, light assembly, and manufacturing.

Baltimore County

Economic Development Commission

Richard W. Story, executive director

Courthouse Mezzanine

Towson, Md. 21204

887-8000 or 1-800-950-6543

Commercial property: Total office space is about 15 million square feet with a 12 percent vacancy. The largest industrial and business parks include Hunt Valley Business Community (435 acres), Loveton Center (246 acres), Meadows Business Park (475 acres), Owings Mills Corporate Campus (194 acres), Rutherford Business Center (280 acres), Sparrows Point Business Park (363 acres), and White Marsh Business Community (215 acres).

Financing: State aid

Employee training: In addition to state assistance, the county offers job training through vocational centers run in conjunction with its community colleges. The Baltimore County Employment and Training Office provides a broad range of job placement help.

Enterprise zone: None

Foreign trade zone: None

Carroll County

Department of Economic and Community Development

William E. Jenne, business development manager

125 N. Court St. Suite 101

Westminster, Md. 21157


Commercial property: Most of the office space is in converted structures along the main streets of the eight incorporated towns. Modern office buildings provide about 600,000 square feet. There are 48 industrially-zoned sites, ranging from 2 to 350 acres. The largest industrial/ business parks are Central Maryland Service and Distribution Center (118 acres) in Eldersburg, Hampstead Industrial Park (411 acres), Twin Arch Industrial Park (229 acres) in Mount Airy, West Branch Corporate Center (167 acres) in Westminster, and Westminster Air Business Center (96 acres).

Financing: State aid

Employee training: State programs

Frederick County

Economic and Community Development Commission

Donald Date, director

12 E. Church St. (Winchester Hall)

Frederick, Md. 21701

694-1059 or 1-800-248-2296

Commercial property: Industrial and business parks totaling about 2,500 acres include Bowman Plains (83 acres), Center Park (61 acres), Dudrow Industrial Park (180 acres), Frederick Industrial Center, Industrial Centre East (110 acres), Omega Center (68 acres), Westview Corporate Campus at Frederick (460 acres), and the newly opened Governor's Choice Industrial Park (44 acres). About 1.5 million square feet of office and R&D; space has been built since the 1980s.

Financing: State aid

Employee training: In addition to state programs, the county Job Training Agency, with direction from the Private Industry Council, offers training programs for businesses in the county.

Harford County

Office of Economic Development

William E. Sivertsen, director

5 Bel Air Parkway South

Bel Air, Md. 21014

838-6000 ext. 254

Commercial property: The 13 industrial and business parks, totaling 830 acres for development, are Abingdon Woods, Chesapeake Industrial Park, Clayton Station, Cranberry Run Business Center, Emmorton Business Park, Fashion Park, Forest Hill Business Center, Harford Mall Business Park, Hickory Ridge Industrial Park, Riverside Business Park and William Paca Industrial Park. Nine speculative buildings are available for warehouse/ distribution and light manufacturing, and four more buildings are under construction.

Financing: State aid

Employee training: State programs

Howard County

Office of Economic Development

Kirk Fancher, acting director

3430 Courthouse Drive

Ellicott City, Md. 21403


Commercial property: The great majority of the 5 million square feet of office space has been built since 1980. Vacancy rates are about 20 percent for the almost 10 million square feet of office and R&D; space. The largest commercial parks are Chase (356 acres), Columbia Gateway (600 acres), Columbia 100 Office Research Park (108 acres), Freestate Business Park (107 acres), Howard County Executive Park (100 acres), Junction Business Park (110 acres), Long Reach Business Park (350 acres), Maryland Wholesale Food Center (350 aces), Meadowridge Industrial Park (138 acres), Montpelier Research Park (102 acres), Rivers Corporate park (350 acres) and Troy Hill Corporate Business Park (203 acres).

Financing: State aid

Employee training: State programs

Montgomery County

Office of Economic Development

Duc Duong, chief of business and industrial development

101 Monroe St. Suite 1500

Rockville, Md. 20850


Commercial property: The 38.5 million square feet of leasable office and R&D; space in the county has a vacancy rate of about 13.2 percent. New projects include Gateway 270 Business Center (100 acres), Silver Spring Metro Plaza (350,000 square feet of office space), Rockville Metro Center (360,000 square feet of office space). Shady Grove Life Sciences Center (288 acres) includes facilities of the University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins University, Washingtonian Center (210 acres in business and residential complex located between Rockville and Gaithersburg), and Westfarm (247 acres for office and R&D; development).

Financing: State aid, and the county assists in securing industrial bonds.

Employee training: State programs

Prince George's County

Economic Development Corp.

Dennis C. Murphy, president

9200 Basil Court Suite 200

Landover, Md. 20785


Commercial property: Commercial parks have over 2, 700 acres of developable property for offices and light manufacturing. Existing office and R& D space exceeds 20 million square feet, and about 4 million additional square feet are in the works. More than half this space is in five areas: Lanham-Glenn Dale, Greenbelt, Seat Pleasant-Palmer Park, the Northwestern area, and Largo-Lottsford.

Financing: State aid

Employee training: State programs

Enterprise zone: A 70-acres site in Capitol Heights offers property-tax reductions and income-tax credits to eligible firms.

Foreign trade zone: The Collington Center in Upper Marlboro comprises 77 acres.

Queen Anne's County

Economic Development Commission

Amy S. Coleman, director

P.O. Box 6

Centreville, Md. 21617


Commercial property: The Chesapeake Bay Business Park is an 150-acres campus-style business park by the bay on Route 50. There are 1,200 acres of industrially-zoned land in the county, with many sites served by rail. Future industrial parks have been targeted for the central and northern portions of the county. There is considerable office space in the Kent Island area.

Financing: State aid

Employee training: State programs

Copyright © 2020, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad