MARYLAND COMMERCE DESIGNATES NEW ENTERPRISE ZONE IN FREDERICK COUNTY

Existing Enterprise Zone in Olde Towne Gaithersburg has been redesignated, expanded

 BALTIMORE, MD (June 28, 2018) – The Maryland Department of Commerce today announced the designation of a new enterprise zone in Frederick County along the Route 40 corridor known as the ‘Golden Mile.’ In addition, the state has redesignated and expanded the existing enterprise zone in Olde Towne Gaithersburg to include 350 acres in Montgomery County and the Lakeforest Mall property. The enterprise zone program, established in 1982, provides local property and state income tax credits to businesses that create jobs and make capital investments.

“This program is one of our state’s best economic development tools, helping to revitalize communities across our state and encourage investment by businesses,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “Over the last five years, businesses located in enterprise zones have made more than $13 billion in capital investments, added jobs, and contributed to Maryland’s robust economy.”

“I was excited to work with our partners in the City of Frederick and Frederick County to designate a new enterprise zone that will help attract new businesses to the city and enable other businesses located in the zone to expand,” said Maryland Commerce Secretary Mike Gill. “We were also pleased to redesignate and expand the City of Gaithersburg’s zone to reestablish Old Towne as the social and cultural heart of the area, and stimulate reinvestment in the Lakeforest Mall.”

As of December 15, 2017, Maryland has 36 enterprise zones. Businesses located in the state’s enterprise zones have received roughly $45 million in property tax credits in FY 2018 based on more than $3 billion in capital investments made in FY 2017.

The new 530-acre Frederick County Enterprise Zone along the Route 40 includes approximately 350 businesses and 28 percent of the total commercial area in the City of Frederick. Since its rapid development in the early 1970s, this area has seen a decline in activity due to changes in retail trends and the closure of Fredericktown Mall in 2014.

“The City of Frederick is thrilled to receive an enterprise zone designation for the Golden Mile,” said Mayor Michael O’Connor. “It is the largest retail corridor in the city with diverse national and independent establishments. The enterprise zone designation helps take the Golden Mile to the next level –driving new investment, innovation, entertainment and retail opportunities. Between the recent kick-off of the mall re-tenanting project and the advancing plans for Westside Regional Park, Frederick’s west side is positioned for a renaissance and this tool will help create additional incentives for capital investment and job creation in this area of the city.”

The City of Gaithersburg is eager to provide the Lakeforest Mall area with more opportunities for development, investment, and revitalization in commercial areas. Since opening in 1978, the mall has struggled with high vacancy rates, low rents, and disinvestments. It is the city’s hope that the renewal and expansion of this enterprise zone designation will attract new development to underutilized properties.

“We thank Maryland Commerce for approving the re-designation and expansion of the enterprise zone in Gaithersburg,” said Mayor Jud Ashman. “In the past 10 years, the enterprise zone has supported several important projects that have added to the vitality of the city’s historic commercial center. The expansion of the zone to include properties in and around Lakeforest Mall, combined with the completion of the new I-270 interchange at Watkins Mill Road, will further enhance Gaithersburg’s ability to attract significant new investment.”

Commerce approves the state’s enterprise zones, while local governments are responsible for their administration. Businesses operating within an enterprise zone may be eligible for a tax credit towards their state income tax filings based upon the number of new jobs created, and a tax credit on their local real property taxes based upon their overall capital investment into a property.

About Maryland Commerce:

The Maryland Department of Commerce stimulates private investment and creates jobs by attracting new businesses, encouraging the expansion and retention of existing companies, and providing financial assistance to Maryland companies. The Department promotes the State’s many economic advantages and markets local products and services at home and abroad to spur economic development and international investment, trade and tourism. Because they are major economic generators, the Department also supports the Arts, film production, sports and other special events. For more information, visit commerce.maryland.gov.