Home Archived Articles Biz Roundup

Biz Roundup

18
0

Cordish Unveils Plans for $200M Luxury Hotel, Event Center at Maryland Live!

The Cordish Companies has shared plans for a significant expansion to its Maryland Live! Casino property, located in Hanover. The new, $200 million Live! Hotel will be the largest enhancement and investment at the casino since its opening in June 2012.

The flagship Live! Hotel will be located directly adjacent to Maryland Live! Casino at Arundel Mills and add an additional 350,000-square-feet of space to the state’s largest gaming facility. Featuring a 17-story hotel tower with 310 luxury guest rooms with 52 suites; it also will encompass the Grand Event Center, with a 1,500-seat concert venue with a built-in performance stage and state-of-the-art audio/visual and seating systems; a banquet seating capability of up to 800 diners; meeting and executive spaces: new dining options; and a day spa/salon.

The Cordish Companies has assembled a team of contractors, project architects and designers for the project, including Klai Juba Wald Architects, McLaren Engineering Group, Laurence Lee Associates, Cleo Design Corp., Selbert Perkins, Corsi & Associates, Lynne Curry Spa Consulting, Giovanetti Schulman Associates and EDSA. Tutor Perini Building Corp. will serve as the general contractor.

The project is expected to create approximately 400 new jobs (and 550 construction jobs) for the region, along with numerous vendor opportunities for local, minority; women- and veteran-owned businesses. Groundbreaking on the hotel tower is scheduled for this fall, with project completion slated for fourth quarter of 2017.

MCE Resident Awarded a $100K DHS Grant

Columbia-based Maryland Center for Entrepreneurship (MCE) resident company DataTech911, a division of ElanTech, has received a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract for a real-time monitoring, analysis and notification solution for Emergency Medical Service (EMS) organizations.

DataTech911/ElanTech founders Michael Salonish and Swati Allen say the $100,000 will be used to fund a Phase I SBIR, which will test the feasibility of developing a system used to track and monitor emergency operations and personnel. “[ThePhase I SBIR from DHS S&T] illustrates the need for all EMS agencies, regardless of budget and resources, to have the ability to assess performance through statistical analytics,” said Salonish, vice president of ElanTech.

The grant will provide DataTech911 the opportunity to team with DHS to evaluate the nation’s highest performing agencies to identify the key performance indicators (KPIs) that should be monitored in real time. The identification of these KPIs will allow all EMS agencies to more effectively and efficiently manage their operations. It also will allow the company to strengthen its existing EMS solutions and provide cost-effective tools to small and medium-sized EMS agencies to improve their operational processes.

Once in use by an agency, the software will provide a high level of predictive, analytical and vital operational information to emergency officials. With high performance EMS, residents would receive better quality health care from the beginning of an emergency, during multi- and mass casualty incidents and natural disasters.

Upon completion of the Phase I process, companies will be able to apply for Phase II funding, which can be up to $750,000 and two years.

Film Feastival Coming to Clarks Elioak Farm on July 19

The Howard County Film Feastival will be held this year on Tuesday, July 19, at Clark’s Elioak Farm, in Columbia, from 6 until 8 p.m. The Feastival is a celebration of the local food movement in Howard County, highlighting the connection between Howard County farms, restaurants, food producers and the community.

This year the Feastival will feature the film “Just Eat It,” which focuses on food waste, starting at 7 p.m. in the education barn. The event also will feature live music, samples of food from local restaurants using local produce, a farmers market, access to the petting zoo and the Enchanted Forest attractions.

The event also serves as a kick-off to Howard County’s Summer Restaurant Weeks, which will happen from July 16–Aug. 1. The Summer Restaurant Weeks is an annual food celebration where restaurants across the county incorporate locally grown products to serve farm-fresh meals at attractive prices.

The Film Feastival also will feature several of the Howard County restaurants participating in the upcoming restaurant weeks serving food samples; in addition, a farmers market will feature Howard County farm produce and products for sale including Clark’s Never Sell the Land Farm 100% grass-fed beef, local cheese, honey, fruits, vegetables and jellies.

The event is free, but donations will be accepted for Days of Taste, a program that brings together local farmers and local chefs to teach children about cooking and nutrition. Advance registration is required at www.hocofilmfeastival.eventbrite.com.

Kittleman to File Legislation to Clarify Deadlines in County Code

Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman pre-filed legislation on June 27 to clarify time periods for billing, filing deadlines and other matters stipulated in the County Code. Under the proposal, if a designated time period ends on a weekend, holiday or any other day when county government does not operate for a full day, the deadline will automatically extend to the next full day.

“This measure will make it simpler for residents and businesses conducting business with Howard County,” said Kittleman. “There are several hundred time periods listed in the County Code, and this legislation will eliminate confusion about deadlines and provide greater convenience.”

The legislation gives residents more time to file petitions, pay water and sewer bills, appeal zoning decisions, apply for licenses or pay fines for certain civil violations. The bill also will clarify the deadlines for county government departments and agencies to complete work on a multitude of services, from rendering decisions on zoning matters, issuing licenses and permits, publishing financial reports and disposing of unclaimed property.

“Much like the federal and state governments extend the income tax filing deadline when it falls on a weekend or holiday, we think having a standard rule for the County Code will establish a new ‘best practice,’” said Kittleman.

Arundel Council Approves Fiscal 2017 Budget

The Anne Arundel County Council has approved County Executive Steve Schuh’s amended fiscal 2017 budget. The enacted budget includes the following.

Reducing Taxes and Fees: The budget fully funds an $11 million tax cut and $75 million reduction in water and sewer connection fees. Through the property tax cap, citizens will also see a 1%, $5.5 million reduction in property taxes.

Strengthening Education: The budget fully funds a $15.5 million teacher salary step increase and the largest school construction effort in county history.

Investing in Public Safety: The budget includes general funds for 25 new public safety personnel and continues to fund the planning of a new police academy and central booking facility.

Reforming County Government: The budget reorganizes various operating units within Inspections and Permits and Planning and Zoning to ensure greater efficiency and a smoother work flow.

Cleaning Up Waterways: In the largest investment in waterway cleanup in county history, the budget calls for $253 million in six-year program spending to support more than 300 waterway cleanup projects throughout the county.

The budget also is targeted to improve residents’ overall quality of life by making strategic investments in the county through the JumpStart Anne Arundel Capital Funding program. Key projects in the budget include improvements to Beverly Triton Beach Park and accelerated elementary school construction funding. The fiscal 2017 capital budget invests more than $3 million in total funding for feasibility; the enacted budget went into effect July 1.

South Branch Skate Park Opens in Sykesville

Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman was joined on Saturday, June 11, by Sykesville Mayor Ian Shaw, Howard County Department of Recreation & Parks Director John Byrd, other elected officials and local skaters for a ribbon-cutting to mark the completion of the skate park at South Branch Park.

Located at 350 West Friendship Road, just across the Patapsco River from downtown Sykesville, South Branch Park is a partnership between Howard County Government and the Town of Sykesville.

The 10,500-square-foot skate park, commonly referred to as Shrimp Town, is the third skate park in the Howard County Recreation & Parks system, joining the North Laurel Skate Park and Centennial Skate Spot. The South Branch skate park was designed and constructed by Spohn Ranch. The design was finalized with input from the skating community, and construction began in October 2015. The skate park was included in the Department of Recreation & Parks’ fiscal 2016 capital budget and final cost was $530,000.

The new park is equipped with a 4-to-6-foot bowl, ramps, grind ledges, rails, banks and other features. It sits on the site of a warehouse that collapsed in a snowstorm and was built on the foundation slab of that warehouse.

Phase I of South Branch Park opened in September 2014 with two age-specific playgrounds (ages 2 to 4 and 5 to 12) situated on a rubberized surface, a 32-by-36-foot picnic pavilion, retaining walls around the play area and an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)-compliant parking lot with a path. Phase II, just completed, included building the new skate park, adding signage and additional parking lot space, and stabilizing the historic Renehan Apple Butter Factory. Phase III will include fulfilling stormwater management requirements, adding new parking and continuing to study the feasibility of potential new uses for the Apple Butter Factory.

A video of the event is available at https://youtu.be/_BBrEExe9WM.

Kittleman Files Legislation to Advance Affordable Housing, TIFs for Downtown Columbia

Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman filed eight bills for consideration by the County Council to advance the affordable housing plan and Tax Increment Financing (TIF) for Downtown Columbia.

The pre-filed legislation, which the council is scheduled to review in July, is needed to amend the county code, Howard County General Plan and Downtown Columbia Plan in order to move forward with the comprehensive redevelopment of Downtown. If the bills pass, the county will have a legal framework to guarantee the development of affordable housing Downtown; six years after the Downtown Columbia Plan was approved in 2010, no affordable units have been built.

The TIF which will use a portion of tax revenue from new development to support financing needed for infrastructure, such as new roads, parking garages, an elementary school and arts center.

“Creating this plan has demonstrated the highest level of collaboration among county government, affordable housing advocates and the private sector, showing we will work together to produce the best results for residents,” said Kittleman. “Through this plan, Downtown Columbia will experience an enormous economic boost over the next 30 years. Most importantly, the plan will produce much-needed affordable housing, opening opportunities for people to live and work in Howard County who cannot currently afford to do so.”

The proposal is based on joint recommendations developed by the Howard County Housing Commission, the Columbia Downtown Housing Corp. (CDHC), The Howard Hughes Corp. (HHC) and Howard County Government. The joint recommendations already have been approved by the Howard County Planning Board, an important step in the process. It contractually obligates HHC to create a full spectrum of housing options.

To review the legislation, visit www.howardcountymd.gov/Branches/County-Executive/Downtown-Columbia-Legislative-Package.

CA’s Columbia Clippers Send Swimmers to U.S. Olympic Trials

Two members of Columbia Association’s (CA) Columbia Clippers swim team competed in the U.S. Olympic Team Trials, vying for spots on the U.S. Olympic Swim Team. They were in Omaha, Neb., with the top 1% of swimmers in the United States, including Olympians Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte. This meet is the sole qualifier to determine who will make the team that will compete in Rio de Janeiro. Both athletes are making their first trip to the Olympic Trials.

The Clippers group consists of Morgan Liberto (200-meter backstroke), a student at Howard High School, who is in her eighth year with the Clippers swim team; and Jack Saunderson (200-meter butterfly), who just completed his first year at Towson University and was awarded the CAA Conference “Rookie Swimmer of the Year” award.

Clippers head coach Jeff Scrivener has accompanied the swimmers to Omaha. “Making it to the Olympic Trials is something swimmers work so hard for, and it is a great achievement for these two,” Scrivener said. “I am honored to be taking Morgan and Jack to trials and am excited for them to experience this level of competition.”

The trials ran through July 3 and were available via NBC-TV and its platforms. The present-day Clippers swim team began in 1987 as a program sponsored by CA. The number of swimmers has increased each year, as has the level of training offered; the Clippers now have more than 300 swimmers who compete at the state, sectional and national level — and now at Olympic Trials.

This issue of The Business Monthly was published before results of the trials were known.

Kittleman Signs Agreement Making New Elkridge Fire Station a Reality

Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman announced an agreement with the Elkridge Volunteer Fire Department (EVFD) that will make a new, $19.5 million fire station a reality for the community. Under the Memorandum of Understanding, EVFD will provide funding of up to $2.7 million to support construction costs.  That money will fund the Community Hall, bi-fold doors for the apparatus bay, and the Station’s Tower. In addition to the contribution from the EVFD, Kittleman included an additional $3.6 million in his FY17 Capital Budget for this project.

The new Station 1 will be located on Montgomery Road, between Bauman and Rowanberry drives. It will replace an existing station less than a mile away on Old Washington Road that opened in 1948. The current station is outdated and inadequate to meet the needs of the community, despite additions and renovations made over the years. The current site was also insufficient to attempt an additional expansion.

A groundbreaking for the fire station had been held in September 2014, prior to the county accepting bids for construction of the project and before Kittleman took office. In early 2015, bids for the project came in considerably higher than the appropriation, causing a delay. Faced with limited revenue growth and a capital budget with competing needs, Kittleman suggested pursuing a partnership with the EVFD, similar to the partnership the county created with the Clarksville Volunteer Fire Department in 1998.

The two-story facility, to be built on 7.5 acres, will be 33,757 square feet. The new location will retain Station 1’s close proximity to the estimated 35,000 residents in the 60-square-mile, first-due area and place the station in a location to offer timely support for emergency incidents.

On average, the station is expected to handle more than 2,600 annual calls for service. The new fire station is expected to be completed and ready for occupancy in summer 2018.