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Now that Aberdeen Proving Ground (which is a place, not a Stallone movie) has absorbed the 8,300 jobs moved there in the '05 BRAC legislation, it's time for Harford County to be proactive. That means harnessing the power of the growing cyber security sector.
Brigadier General Mike Hayes and Jim Richardson at Aberdeen High School on Sept. 7, 2011
Yesterday, Harford County Economic Development head Jim Richardson (right, with retired Marine Brigadier General Mike Hayes at a Wednesday community meeting on BRAC at Aberdeen High School) told us APB has added 2.5M SF of office worth $1.3B that now houses 21,000 employees. Of the Fort Monmouth, NJ, workers whose jobs have been transferred to our fair land, 67% made the move (typical retention is 25%). To keep that momentum going, Jim's department will now focus on bolstering higher education and cyber security research (and making sure there's enough Mountain Dew for this new army of tech people). Mike happens to be among the speakers at our Bisnow BRAC, Cyber, & Fort Meade event on Sept. 29. Sign up now!
The Gate office park near Aberdeen Proving Ground
The county has plugged $300M into schools and infrastructure, and 1M SF of off-base, Class-A office has been built or is under construction, Jim tells us. So far, 76 defense contractors have taken space in the five area business parks: St. John's The Gate (above), and others from COPT, Merritt, Steuart, and Sherwood Partners and Kinsley Properties. He says retail is going gangbusters in the region, too, considering the population will swell by 20k to 260k by 2015.
Jim Martin on Sept. 9, 2011
Not only did DSW and Homegoods just open at Constant Friendship Shopping Center in Abingdon, Ward Properties' Jim Martin (in his office this morning) tells us that next Sunday his firm is delivering Northeast MD's first Wegmans, a 130k SF-er across the street in its new Boulevard at Box Hill shopping center. A PNC and Joe's Crab Shack will open there by the end of the year, Panera will start construction at the end of the month, and there's another 300k SF of retail coming.
Boulevard at Box Hill in Abingdon
Jim #2 says Ward decided to devote the 45-acres (above, originally part of a corporate park that so far has five offices and a YMCA) to retail because the area is so underserved. Meanwhile, the firm is busy creating even more demand for the retail with its office projects, including a 30k SF office that'll open in May 2013, half of it already spoken for by St. Joseph Medical Center.