About the project: Waldorf Station is a 145-acre mixed-use project in Waldorf at the intersection of U.S. Route 301 and Maryland Route 5. The developer, Maryland-based Greenberg Gibbons, is planning 200,000-square-feet of retail and entertainment space, class A office, a hospitality component and open-air, mixed-use town center, featuring quality shops, restaurants, and entertainment.
“We’ve been working on this project for some time, and it’s been a genuine team effort,” said Yewell. “The project has been lead by our Planning and Growth Management Department, but the EDD has also been very involved from the beginning. PGM has done much of the heavy lifting, as has the Legal Department, so it’s been a collaborative team effort.”
The project is a $220 million investment and will start in 2021. Yewell said, “We'd like to thank the Board of Education and the Board of County Commissioners and the Planning Commission for understanding the need for revisions in the school seat allocation policy to enable this project to move forward.” Waldorf Station will have a positive fiscal impact because it will generate more taxes than it does fiscal expenses or general government expenses, including the Board of Education. “It will be an improvement for North Waldorf,” said Yewell. “It replaces vacant underutilized properties like the old Waldorf Motel, and I think it will be a positive impact on the tax base in Charles County for decades to come.”
AMAZON DELIVERY STATION
About the project: Charles County's Amazon Last Mile “Delivery Station” is one of seven such facilities slated to open in Maryland. The operations are based in Waldorf's St. Charles Industrial Park with a projected opening of Spring 2021.
Amazon approached the EDD in 2017, and the department has been working with them since then. They purchased a 200,000 square-foot warehouse in St. Charles that had been vacant for 10 years. They are renovating that building and will employ between 200 to 300 full-time workers. Yewell said, “It was a collaborative effort. Planning and Growth Management have been very instrumental in moving this project forward, including the Permitting Department. I can't thank them enough.”
About the project: Kaiser Permanente has purchased a 23-acre site in Waldorf and plans to build a multi-phase medical center on the undeveloped parcel. The first phase is on track to open in the first quarter of 2025 at a cost of approximately $100 million. The facility will be approximately 100,000 square feet.
Kaiser Permanente first approached the EDD in late 2019. “What they were proposing at the time was to establish a foothold in Charles County,” said Yewell. “They were proposing a 4,000 square-foot walk-in clinic, with the possibility of expanding to one of their hubs in future years.” That plan for a 4,000 square-foot outpatient clinic grew into what they call one of their regional hubs. That entails a 100,000 square-foot campus, with the option to expand another 60,000 square feet. They are projected to open the first phase in 2025.
US BOMB TECHNICIAN ASSOCIATION
About the project: The United States Bomb Technician Association established a multi-use site in Indian Head in November that plans to grow education and technology in accordance with the Town of Indian Head and the Naval Support Facility.
“The USBTA wanted a presence near the Naval Support Facility,” said Yewell. They are a membership organization and have members from Homeland Security, the FBI, and many law enforcement agencies. The association already has a small presence in Indian Head, and after the current pandemic, they plan to have 8 to 12 events a year in Indian Head, making use of the Velocity Center.
Their organization, with many of its members, has attracted attention to Indian Head, and a couple other firms are now interested in having a presence in Charles County. ARA, which is a large multi-disciplinary engineering firm with an energetics group, is planning to bring 10 to 20 employees eventually into Charles County, and they've committed to coming to Indian Head, as well as a third company, Memsel. Memsel is a high-tech production company, and their expertise is in nanofiber technology.
About the project: Maryland Airport is a privately owned and operated general aviation airport in western Charles County that is open to the public, serving the Washington DC metro area. The airport is home to 46 based aircraft, including the helicopter with MedSTAR Rapid Transportation, and hosts an average of 47 aircraft operations a day. The airport is 20 miles south of Washington, DC and is the closest reliever airport to Reagan National Airport that is outside of DC’s no-fly zone.
“PSM Holdings purchased the airport in 2019, and they're in the process of going through some improvements to the airport runway,” said Yewell. “If we can manage to attract enough business to Indian Head, they're going to grow out of Indian Head pretty quickly and will be seeking to move north up into Bryans Road. We thought that the airport would be an appropriate area for companies of this nature to move into.”
When the airport was on the market, the EDD had inquiries from half a dozen prospective buyers about acquiring the airport and locating their operations in Charles County. The EDD stays in regular contact with the current owners, and the interest in the airport has not subsided. Yewell said, “There are biotech firms that are making inquiries about locating around the airport. They want to be able to utilize the runway for their operations, so we feel like the airport rezoning, which is going through the process right now, will be a significant benefit to the County in terms of economic development.”