The City of Laurel has continued to focus on economic development efforts, with business recruitment and retention key for the city’s Main Street and other commercial areas. The Main Street Economic Development Program was established to provide relocation grants to participants up to $10,000 to relocate new or existing business to the Main Street area.
Also, the Retail Storefront Façade Improvement Program grants participants up to $5,000 for approved façade renovations to commercial properties; in addition, incentives are available for property owners to maintain the aesthetics of their property.
Furthermore, the Economic Development Commercial Corridor Program was created to revitalize vacant properties that would support city businesses. The program also serves as a means for business growth in the city that results in increased job opportunities, an expanded tax base and an improved quality of life. Its target areas are along Route 1, Laurel City Center, the Highway Corridor and the Route One Historic District area.
Currently, there are two mixed-use communities constructed within the city, which include Westside and Avalon Bay. Westside includes an apartment complex, townhouse community and a future commercial component; Avalon Bay includes an apartment complex and a pad-site for a Royal Farms convenience store, which recently obtained zoning approval.
Moreover, there are other residential projects currently under construction: the Evolution, an apartment complex at Laurel Towne Centre; the redevelopment of Laurel Gardens apartments; and Sandy Spring Village, a duplex community. For all new multi-family developments of 50 units or more, 6% of the housing stock must be set aside for the city’s Affordable Housing Program. The city is expected to experience much more development, as well as revitalization efforts, in the near future as developers continue to reach out to the department.
In addition to the new construction and revitalization efforts, there is an annexation currently pending to annex 32.68 acres of land into the Laurel’s incorporated city limits for future development. Annexing property into the city serves as a means to stimulate the economic base, provide increased real estate values and add marketability and is a mechanism to create growth for the community.
Finally, Laurel Mayor Craig Moe recently appointed Christian Pulley as director of economic and community development. She has been employed with the city since 2008 and has held multiple positions.
For more information, call the City of Laurel at 301-725-3000 or visit www.cityoflaurel.org.