Q. What is the most exciting development news that
happened this year?
A. On the horizon for Maryland is the National Harbor project in Prince George's County. This 300-acre mixed-use community has an ultimate buildout of 7.3 million square feet, including the 470,000-square-foot Gaylord National Convention Center, touted as the largest hotel and convention center of its kind on the East Coast. It is scheduled to open in April 2008. Along with retail, dining, and entertainment space, Class A office space, residential units, two marinas, and four piers with water shuttle service, the projected impact is $4 billion in capital investment and 13,000 new jobs.
In other developments, the Science + Technology Park at Johns Hopkins is an 80-acre, $800-million mixed-use development project adjacent to the Johns Hopkins Medical Center that will ultimately include up to 2 million square feet of life sciences and research space. Delivery of the six-story, 255,000-square-foot building is expected in spring 2008.
Also, the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) BioPark is being planned for 1.2 million square feet of rentable space for labs and offices in 10 buildings on eight acres. Capital investment is ultimately projected at $500 million over the life of the project.
Q. Has any legislation happened during this legislative session that will encourage the growth of industry or new business?
A. Maryland passed three key pieces of business legislation that took effect in July:
• The new 15-member Maryland Life Sciences Advisory Board is devoted to developing a comprehensive state strategic plan for life sciences, as well as promoting life sciences research, development, commercialization, and manufacturing.
• The Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Subcabinet creates a 10-member subcabinet in state government that will coordinate and oversee the implementation of all state action to support the missions of military installations affected by BRAC recommendations.
• The Property Tax Credit for Property Used as a Publicly Sponsored Business Incubator provides a local property tax credit for property that is used as a "business incubator" under certain conditions. The jurisdiction has the flexibility to determine the amount and duration of the tax credit.
Q. What industries have grown in the past year, or what industries are you targeting for more growth?
A. Bio and life sciences continue to be growth industries. Currently, Maryland is home to more than 380 bioscience companies. Our private-sector bioscience companies employ approximately 30,000 with an additional 30,000 workers employed at federal and academic institutions. Maryland ranks second worldwide for initiatives aimed at drawing and retaining biotechnology companies. Much of Maryland's success and competitiveness can be attributed to our significant commitment and long-term investment in bioscience infrastructure - totaling more than $450 million. The recipient of $7.2 billion in federal research and development obligations annually, we continue to be a leader in per-capita spending in the nation.
Maryland is home to U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) at Fort Detrick, a leading facility for biodefense vaccine research; University of Maryland at Baltimore (UMB) Center for Vaccine Development, the only university vaccine center in the world engaged in the full range of vaccinology; National Institutes of Health Vaccine Research Center; University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute; and Institute for Vaccine Safety at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Other key growth industries include information technology and communications, financial services, insurance, and healthcare. Aerospace activity has increased, with focus on Patuxent Naval Air Station in southern Maryland and the recently completed renovation of Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport. Our major aerospace companies include ARINC, AAI, ABE Systems, General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, and Thales Communications.
Q. What about exports or foreign investment?
A. Transportation equipment is currently the largest Maryland export industry, followed closely by computers and electronic products, chemicals, and non-electrical machinery.
The state exported globally to more than 200 foreign countries, with Canada continuing to be the top destination. Behind Canada, the top export markets for Maryland are Egypt, United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Japan, China, Mexico, and France. Maryland's biggest growth market, in dollar terms, has been Egypt. Exports from Maryland to Egypt jumped from $382 million in 2004 to $810 million in 2006, due mostly to an increase in aviation and aerospace equipment.