West Anne Arundel County is experiencing exponential growth thanks to the 2005
Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) relocations and other growth at Ft. Meade, with
almost 5,700 of them arriving in 2011 alone. Continued growth at Ft. George G. Meade
and the National Security Agency (NSA) has already brought thousands to the area
over the past few years, with more to come. In addition, last year the United States
Cyber Command was established at Ft. Meade, bringing thousands more jobs over the
next several years. In all, the area can expect over 27,000 new employees at Ft.
Meade by 2015.
Government jobs aren’t the only growth in western Anne Arundel County. Our position
at the intersection of major highways, close to BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport, and
our proximity to Washington, DC led our area to be the growth corridor for the county
well before BRAC additions were announced. Our highly skilled workforce and the
presence of Ft. Meade and NSA have attracted many of the leading defense contractors,
as well as established and emerging defense and intelligence companies working in
informatics, communications, high-speed computing, aerospace, and instrumentation.
In fact, Anne Arundel Community College’s Center
for Workforce Solutions offers a full complement of training solutions to give
business and industry the competitive edge. CWS is one of the leading regional resources
for customized training.
The acronym BRAC is used locally to refer not only to the almost 5,700 jobs relocating
to Ft. Meade as a result of the 2005 BRAC actions, but also additional projected
growth at Ft. Meade.
Three agencies have relocated here as a result of the 2005 BRAC decision:
Other growth expected at Ft. Meade by 2015 includes 2,000 jobs at Ft. Meade’s
90 other agencies, over 6,600 jobs at NSA, and 10,000 contractor jobs associated
with Enhanced Use Lease construction (private development on Army-owned land). These
numbers do not include growth associated with the new
Cyber Command Headquarters recently established at Ft. Meade, initially estimated
at 2,800 but likely to increase.
The area just outside the gates of Ft. Meade has long been designated for redevelopment
as a transit-oriented, pedestrian friendly mixed-use district centered around the
MARC commuter train station called the Odenton Town Center. 2011 has been a banner
year for seeing this project move forward, great news to the over twenty developers
and hundreds involved in this 1,600-acre project. County forward-funding of needed
infrastructure, combined with an agreement providing for a developer-built road
in exchange for impact credits, has resulted in rapid development, including townhomes,
apartments, retail, and office space.
Other Major Developments
In addition to the Odenton Town Center, several other mixed-use developments
are underway in the West Anne Arundel County area.
Preserve’s new hotel, shops, and residences were recently completed in Hanover,
with additional housing, retail, and office space planned. Nearby, the
Live! Casino will be open mid-2012, and
Mills Mall continues to expand.
South at Waugh Chapel in Gambrills will include over a million square feet of
mixed retail, office and residential when it’s completed, including a Wegmans Food
Market, Target, and Regal Theaters, and its first phase is expected to open in Spring
Gateway, off MD 198 in Laurel, is another mixed use development in the advanced
planning stages, incorporating 1600 residential units with office and retail space.
In addition, Corporate Office Properties Trust (COPT) continues to expand their
National Business Park, home to many defense contractors and government agencies.