Zones spur economic development and job creation around colleges, universities 

BALTIMORE, MD (October 23, 2018) – The Maryland Department of Commerce has approved a Regional Institution Strategic Enterprise Zone, or RISE Zone, around Morgan State University in Baltimore City; Montgomery College’s Germantown campus; and Salisbury University in Wicomico County. The designations aim to spur economic development and job creation by allowing commercial and industrial businesses that move into or expand significantly within the zones to benefit from real property and income tax credits. Businesses in targeted industries, including engineering, cybersecurity, additive manufacturing, aerospace, and biotechnology, among others, will be eligible to receive increased incentives.

“These important designations will help our outstanding higher education institutions unlock more of their economic development potential,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “Strengthening Maryland’s economy is one of our administration’s top priorities, and this program plays a vital role in attracting new companies, encouraging businesses to expand, and creating jobs.”

The Morgan State University RISE Zone includes approximately 10 acres within Baltimore City at the Northwood Shopping Center area. The RISE Zone benefits will enable the university and its private partners to make improvements to the Northwood Shopping Center and transform it into Northwood Commons, which is slated to be a mixed-use site with retail and office space with the potential to create hundreds of jobs.

“The redevelopment of the Northwood Shopping Center by Morgan State University and its private partners is a perfect example of the type of projects that the RISE Zone was intended to stimulate,” said William H. Cole, president and CEO of the Baltimore Development Corporation (BDC). “Not only will this public-private partnership transform the Northwood Commons area into a vibrant mixed-use site that will provide amenities and jobs to the community, it will also serve as a catalyst for other activity and investments.”

“We applaud the Maryland Department of Commerce’s approval of the area surrounding Morgan’s West Campus as a RISE Zone, and furthering the effort to create a stronger community that uplifts neighborhoods and will attract new businesses,” said David Wilson, president of Morgan State University. “As an anchor institution here in the city of Baltimore, initiatives like the RISE Zone bolster the work that we are already doing to improve the communities that neighbor our university and creates a solid foundation for progress. We are excited about the Northwood Commons project and what the future will bring. This is a win for all involved.”

Montgomery College’s Germantown Campus RISE Zone covers approximately 28 acres. The RISE Zone designation will help the college develop its academic, business, and research campus, also known as the Pinkney Innovation Complex for Science and Technology (PIC MC), more fully into an innovation district; and integrate resources between academic, businesses, and community organizations. Businesses that locate in the new RISE Zone will have access to the campus’s cyber lab, Bioscience Education Center, the Montgomery County-owned Germantown Innovation Center, and Holy Cross Germantown Hospital.

“We appreciate the state of Maryland’s designation of Montgomery County’s first RISE Zone. This will help fulfill our vision for the Montgomery College Germantown Campus as an innovation-driven economic engine for the Germantown area, which has seen tremendous population growth in the past few decades,” said Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett. “RISE Zone will be a timely tool to better leverage our investments in a great academic institution to stimulate more jobs and business growth.”

“Montgomery College is developing our Germantown Campus’ PIC MC into a hub of education, employment, and entrepreneurship,” said Montgomery College Acting President Stephen Cain. “The RISE Zone will further this goal while providing students with advanced market-ready knowledge and skills, and facilitating economic opportunity in our county.”

The Salisbury University RISE Zone encompasses more than 129 acres connecting downtown Salisbury and the campus. Also along this stretch is the shore’s largest and most experienced health care provider, Peninsula Regional Medical Center. Recognizing that this was a key corridor for growth opportunity, the city will work to attract and spur economic development in the RISE Zone. The city hopes to utilize the incentive to strengthen collaborative efforts between the university, municipality, and hospital.

“As Salisbury University continues to forge new paths forward in both education and healthcare, I am confident that the impact of Salisbury’s RISE Zone will be felt far beyond the borders of our city,” said City of Salisbury Mayor Jake Day. “This designation will serve to benefit healthcare recipients across the Eastern Shore as it helps foster public-private partnerships between our academic, medical, and business communities.”

“We are proud to partner with the city of Salisbury on yet another project to encourage growth and renaissance along the stretch of Route 13 connecting the university, downtown, and PRMC,” said Deputy Chief of Staff and Director of Government and Community Relations at Salisbury University Eli Modlin. “The RISE Zone will not only help areas currently being developed but will spur development throughout the city, including some of the most underserved areas. This is a shining example of what we can accomplish when the state, communities and the University System of Maryland work together.”

The RISE Zone program was established to leverage the economic development potential of Maryland’s higher education institutions. A business concierge at Commerce is available to help businesses in the zones identify other Maryland incentives and programs from which they could benefit, and to assist with permit and license applications. The RISE Zone designation lasts for five years.

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

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