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Balt. Co. Executive Wants To Make Woodlawn More Business-Friendly

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Derek Valcourt 370x278 Derek Valcourt
Derek Valcourt began working at WJZ in September 2002. His first major...
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WOODLAWN, Md. (WJZ) — The Baltimore County executive rolled out his new plan Tuesday to bring more businesses and jobs to the Woodlawn area.

Derek Valcourt explains the county will be rolling out the welcome wagon to entice more businesses to call Woodlawn their home.

The county executive is hoping some targeted tax benefits will help create jobs and bring down some of the high vacancy rates in the Woodlawn area.

Aging office parks—in some cases, nearly empty—are scattered throughout Woodlawn.  That’s something Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz hopes he can change.  To do it, he wants to capitalize on two federal agencies headquartered nearby.  The county’s largest employer, the Social Security Administration and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services, together employ more than 16,000 workers.  Kamenetz says Woodlawn can do more.

“It makes sense to marshal our resources and attract more federal growth in Woodlawn through Social Security and related industries and there’s a lot of private businesses that service these federal agencies that would also relocate here and do jobs,” Kamenetz said.

That’s why, under his direction, the county will apply to the state to designate a new federal center at Woodlawn Enterprise Zone, some 230 industrial and commercial acres near 695 and Dogwood Road, where businesses would qualify for property and income tax credits in order to encourage older office buildings to be remodeled or rebuilt and attract new business to town.  He says he’ll also put permit reviews in the zone on a fast track with the county, another major incentive for businesses.

“We think this will really get the economic engine rolling down Security Boulevard and create some job growth and tax base for Baltimore County,” he said.

The County Council will vote on a resolution to support an enterprise zone when they meet on March 7.

Baltimore County will hold a public hearing on the enterprise zone in two weeks at 7 p.m. at the Woodlawn Library.

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