Right now the biggest commercial real estate development action in HoCo is happening along the Route 216 corridor. Beginning in North Laurel at the Emerson Corporate Commons and ending in Maple Lawn there is over 300,000 square feet of speculative office development, 75,000 square feet of new flex space and 14,000 square feet of new retail space.
To put this into perspective, in the county’s premiere office park, Columbia Gateway there hasn’t been any new development activity in over a year.
Some believe this is only the tip of the iceberg. In Emerson where we have a project, James Knott also has an office project just down the street from us. Together these two buildings will be completed this year and will more than double the amount of office space in Emerson Corporate Commons. Knott also owns the remaining sites in the park after acquiring them from General Growth Properties two years ago. Knott plans to build another half million square feet of office space within the next few years.
On the west end of the corridor Maple Lawn is rocking right along with a new headquarters for the Baltimore Washington Conference of the United Methodist Church, and the recently announced addition of Kaiser Permante to their corporate community. With the opening of a new Harris Teeter store the developer has forged ahead with a new 14,000 square foot retail building just across the parking lot.
What’s the big attraction down in the south?
It’s actually a somewhat different story in the southwest than the southeast. In the southwest (Maple Lawn) it’s proximity to the DC metro area and the attraction of a well designed mixed use community. In the southeast (Emerson) the attraction is proximity to Fort Meade and the favorable conditions for developing secure buildings.