Why locate in a BRAC Zone? A BRAC Zone is a designated growth area for businesses expanding or relocating to Maryland as a result of the federal Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) initiative. As a BRAC Zone, Westport Waterfront is also expected to provide diverse housing options for those relocating to Maryland from out of State. The BRAC zone was designated by the City and approved by the State of Maryland in 2008. See Baltimore’s BRAC Zone map for a closer look at the qualifying area. Baltimore’s BRAC Zone allows the real property taxes generated from the site to be earmarked for infrastructure improvements. Baltimore City Department of Transportation has already initiated $20.1 million in upgrades to the MD 295 interchanges to accommodate growth in Westport.
Why locate your BRAC-related business at Westport? Through the BDC, Small Business Administration (SBA), State of Maryland Department of Economic Development (DBED) and BDC’s other partners financial incentives are available to businesses interested in locating at the Westport Waterfront Development site.
- One Maryland Tax Credit: Businesses that invest in an economic development project in a “qualified distressed county” may qualify for project tax credits of up to $5 million and start-up tax credits of up to $500,000 through the Maryland Income Tax Credit Program, a State of Maryland tax credit through the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED).
- Enterprise Zone Focus Area: The Westport Waterfront Development site is located in the Baltimore City Enterprise Zone Focus Area and this provides access to additional tax credits. Focus Area Employment Tax Credits per new employee hired ($1,500 per new employee/$9,000 per disadvantaged employee) through the. In addition to employment tax credits, Personal Property tax credits are available for ten years (80% abatement) for new personal property purchased in the Zone.
- HUB Zone: Westport is also a federally designated HUB Zone. Locating within a HUB Zone, certified companies are given federal contracting priority. Take a look at BDC’s HUB Zone/Enterprise Zone and Foreign Trade Zone overlay map for more information on Baltimore’s HUB Zone locations.
- Counseling Services: Free of charge to businesses interested in locating in Baltimore, the Small Business Resource Center offers financial counseling services which include business plan advice, and referrals to financing institutions.
- Development Assistance: BDC provides zoning and permitting information and City agency and community contacts.
- Personal Property Tax Abatement: For companies manufacturing or involved in Research and Development, the City of Baltimore offers a 100% Personal Property Tax exemption to qualified businesses on all equipment involved in manufacturing operations.
- No Inventory Tax: Baltimore City and the State of Maryland have no inventory tax.
- Workforce Development Assistance: Through the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development there are employee training opportunities, referrals and background check assistance available to businesses located or looking to locate in Baltimore City.
Why should I consider living at Westport? The Baltimore Department of Housing and Community Development, the Live Baltimore Home Center and other partners have come together to offer the following homeownership incentives for BRAC-related employees.
- BRAC Homeownership Incentive: Baltimore City has made available a $3,000, zero percent deferred loan homeownership incentive for BRAC personnel who purchase a home in the City of Baltimore. The incentive is matched with the City of Baltimore’s “Buying Into Baltimore” incentive of $3,000, 5-year forgivable loan. Eligible candidates will receive a total of $6,000 in down payment and closing cost assistance. For more information, please visit Live Baltimore.
- Residential Relocation Assistance: The Live Baltimore organization promotes residential living in Baltimore City. Staff at Live Baltimore is especially trained to handle all of your business’s residential BRAC needs.
Getting to Fort Meade and Aberdeen is easy from Westport: One of the reasons Westport was chosen as a BRAC Zone is because of it is considered to be a transit-oriented development project (TOD). TOD is a new development trend in which compact and walkable communities are centered around a high quality transit system. The Westport Waterfront is conveniently located only 19 minutes away from Fort Meade and 30 minutes away from Aberdeen Proving via the MARC’s Penn Line train. Please see attached map for a look at the Region’s most widely used transportation routes. The Westport Waterfront Development is directly connected to the Westport Light Rail Station stop. The Light Rail stops at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport, the closest transit stop to Fort Meade, and only 20 minutes away from Westport via Light Rail.