Maryland is continuing its push to bring development in Opportunity Zones around the state. At a recent conference hosted by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, the sold-out crowd learned about the economic benefits and incentives of Opportunity Zones and the expected future impact of the program.
The benefits include federal tax incentives over a 10-year period; a 10-year tax credit for each new job created by a company that locates or expands in the zone; and $500,000 for a recently-introduced “Opportunity Works” job-training program.
There are currently 149 designated Opportunity Zones statewide. Currently, each of Maryland’s 24 jurisdictions contains at least one Opportunity Zone designation.
Yard 56, developed by NAIOP-MD member company MCB Real Estate, is the recipient of the first Maryland Opportunity Zone investment. The $150-million, 20-acre, mixed-use project, which is currently rising in East Baltimore City, is on the site of the former Pemco International manufacturing plant that has been vacant since 2006. Phase I will deliver late this year or early 2020 and consist of 190,000 square feet of commercial office, retail and restaurant space, with tenants including such as LA Fitness, Streets Market & Café and Brass Tap Craft Beer Bar. Phase II will be comprised of retail, residential, hospitality product and structured parking.
Companies choosing to locate in an Opportunity Zone are also eligible for an additional $6 million in tax credits; have 100% of their state property taxes exempted; and have all business recording, filing or special fees waived.
The Opportunity Zones program is a nationwide program sponsored by the U.S. Treasury designed to provide federal tax incentives for investment in economically-distressed and under-served communities.
“For the last four years, Governor Hogan and I, and our entire administration, have been laser-focused on growing jobs and turning around Maryland’s economy, and we’ve seen a lot of success,” said Lt. Governor Rutherford during the October conference. “But we know that there are places in the state that have not had the same growth as the rest of Maryland. The Opportunity Zone program is an exciting chance to truly lift up and help these communities.”