April 24, 2017 (Cambridge, Maryland) – Dorchester County Economic Development announced the completion of a fair market value (FMV) assessment for 12 building lots at the Dorchester Regional Technology Park, a critical milestone allowing the county to sell land to expanding businesses. The market analysis was completed less than a year after the Eastern Shore Innovation Center (ESIC) opened and in conjunction with the County’s announcement that the 13,250-square-foot incubator is almost 100% leased.
“The County commissioned a market assessment to determine the value and selling price for the Technology Park lots. This was both a condition of the EDA grant and a best practice to ensure we can successfully market the sites,” said Jeremy Goldman, County Manager. “Based on the data- driven analysis conducted by W.R. McCain, we know the FMV is approximately $23,000 an acre and our economic development staff can begin marketing the lots to targeted end-users and developers.
The County retained Salisbury-based W.R. McCain & Associates in November 2016 to conduct a regional market analysis; Lori M. Mrohs, a senior analyst at McCain, executed the report.
“We identified the total market value of the property at $1.28 million based on land plus site improvements including utilities, sidewalks, signage, and high speed broadband fiber,” said Mrohs. “Public utilities enhance the range of uses and drainage easements are already in place.”
The 113-acre Technology Park consists of 56 improved acres and approximately 57 acres for storm water management, forest conservation, and a water tower site. Lots vary from 2.26 to 5.5 acres and average 4.7 acres.
“One year ago, we proudly cut the ribbon on the Eastern Shore Innovation Center, the anchor tenant of our Technology Park,” said Susan Banks, Business Development Manager. “Once the ESIC opened, our next step was to identify tenants and lease the incubator. I’m happy to announce 12 companies, which include two businesses that are utilizing the co-work space, are now located in the incubator bringing us to 92% capacity in 12 months.”
The companies located in the incubator are:
- Cambridge Federal: Dell reseller, LiveScan provider and Security and Base Operations consultant
- Dalcom Engineering: Engineering, safety, IT and management services consultant
- F.L. Holding: Agricultural branding business celebrating the joy of the agriculture lifestyle
- Garvey Environmental: Provider of innovative mold remediation services
- Hooper’s Island Oyster Co.: Aquaculture pioneer of product, processes and equipment
- iValueLED: High value LED lighting for commercial and municipal energy savings
- Mapping Technologies: Aerial mapping and underground methane tracking
- Quevera: Software engineering firm delivering custom technology solutions
- Purdy Group: Federal contractor developing knowledge management center
- SunXAnalytical: Laboratory services, water testing and agricultural product development
- Annapolis Defense and Security: Security service provider
- Bio Research Solutions: Doctoral student in Toxicology working to improve laboratory productivity
“Now that the County has a Fair Market Value Assessment for the lots, we are actively exploring expanding our presence in the Dorchester Technology Park,” said Mike Ross, CEO of Cambridge Federal. “If our business continues to grow as it has this past year at the Innovation Center, we’d like to acquire the first lot to build our Maryland-based facility.”
Banks said there are a number of features and benefits that make the technology park valuable. All lots are turnkey and connected to public water and sewer. They contain high-speed broadband access. Zoned for light industrial use and two miles off of Route 50, the site is outside of a flood hazard area and contains no environmental issues.
The Park is located in Cambridge, just south of Route 50 – a major thoroughfare between the Eastern Shore of Maryland, Baltimore, and Washington, DC – and across from the Cambridge-Dorchester Regional Airport.
“Now that the Council has approved a sale price starting at $23,000 an acre, we will immediately implement an aggressive marketing plan to identify and reach out to prospective users,” said Banks.
HUBZone is a Small Business Administration program designed to attract investments, business development and employment in economically distressed areas. The program incentivizes federal contracting. Businesses that become HUBZone certified must place their principal office in a designated location; Dorchester has countywide HUBZone status.
Development of the Technology Park and Eastern Shore Innovation Center were made possible through strategic partnerships by Dorchester County with the City of Cambridge, federal government (Departments of Commerce [Small Business Administration, Economic Development Administration], Housing and Urban Development and Agriculture), and the state of Maryland (Department of Commerce, Maryland Economic Development Corporation, and the Maryland Technology Development Corporation.