Maryland Department of Commerce Announces New RISE Zone Approved Near Towson University

BALTIMORE, MD (July 21, 2023)—The Maryland Department of Commerce today announced the approval of a new Regional Institution Strategic Enterprise Zone, or RISE Zone, adjacent to Towson University in Baltimore County. The designation aims to spur economic development and job creation by allowing certain businesses within the zones to benefit from rental assistance and enhanced investment incentive tax credits.

“Maryland’s higher education institutions are among the most powerful and innovative economic drivers we have,” said Maryland Department of Commerce Secretary Kevin Anderson. “The RISE Zone designation will help Towson University leverage the immense creativity and talent of its people into meaningful economic growth for Baltimore County and for Maryland.”

The RISE Zone designation will help Towson University expand and consolidate its entrepreneurship resources, including the university’s StarTUp at the Armory business engagement center, already located within the zone. The designation will also help establish Towson as a hub for emerging businesses and drive economic development in the Greater Towson community.

The Zone covers 419 acres reaching from the northeast corner of the university’s campus to a stretch of I-695 north of Kenilworth Avenue and covering the core of downtown Towson.

“Towson University’s RISE Zone designation strengthens its ability to attract new, diverse and forward-thinking businesses to the area, creating new and innovative jobs for residents and furthering Towson’s status as a vibrant destination location,” said Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski. “We value the economic, educational and cultural impact TU has in Baltimore County and beyond, and look forward to continued growth and innovation at this world-class institution.”

Eligible businesses within the zone may apply for rental assistance from Baltimore County and investors in these companies may qualify for enhanced tax credits under the Biotechnology Investment Incentive Tax Credit Program and the Innovation Investment Incentive Tax Credit Program, both offered by the Maryland Department of Commerce. Restaurants and retail stores are not eligible for the RISE zone benefits.

“Towson University’s impact as an anchor institution extends far beyond our campus community, and this RISE Zone designation further expands our ability to generate economic growth and business development for the region,” said Towson University Interim President Melanie Perreault. “We are thankful to have collaborated with Maryland Commerce and Baltimore County to support our community and its commerce.”

The RISE Zone program was established to leverage the economic development potential of Maryland’s higher education institutions. RISE Zone designations last for five years, with the potential to be renewed for an additional 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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