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A Cornucopia of Family Fun, Farm Life and Fresh Produce

Spend a day or two in the country petting farm animals or having lunch by a scenic pond. Purchase fresh fruits, vegetables, flowers, plants and more.

You and your family can experience all this and more right here in Montgomery County during the 23rd Annual Farm Tour & Harvest Sale , Saturday July 28 and Sunday July 29. All farms will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Sugarloaf Winery that will be open from noon to 6 p.m.

See more details and a list of the participating farms at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/farmtour.

CATEGORIES: Economy
POSTED: Friday, July 20, 2012 | 5:00:00 AM |

NOAA Keeps 4,200 Jobs in Downtown Silver Spring; Renews Lease for One Million Square Feet

The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), on behalf of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), has signed a 15-year lease renewal for more than one million square feet of office space NOAA currently occupies among three buildings on East West Highway in Silver Spring.  NOAA’s leases were due to expire in 2013.

To ensure that NOAA’s approximately 4,000 jobs stayed here, County Executive Ike Leggett and the County Council approved a request from the Department of Economic Development to offer, as a financial incentive, a conditional grant not to exceed $12 million over 15 years.

NOAA has been the lead tenant in the Foulger-Pratt-owned buildings at 1305, 1315 and 1325 East-West Highway since they were constructed in 1990.

Read more.

CATEGORIES: Economy
POSTED: Friday, December 16, 2011 | 3:00:00 AM |

MAKING NEWS

Bethesda-based Lockheed Martin Receives $4 Billion Navy Contract

According to a recent Defense Department announcement, Bethesda-based Lockheed Martin Corp is being awarded a $4 billion fixed-price U.S. Navy contract for 30 F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft.

A Reuters online article stated, “The deal would provide 21 conventional models for the Air Force, six carrier variants for the Navy and three short-takeoff and vertical landing versions for the Marine Corps,” citing a notice in the Pentagon's daily contract digest.

The Reuters story also noted that Lockheed spokesperson Michael Rein said, “Details of the deal have not been worked out.” Rein referred to the government announcement as an "undefinitized contract action" that is still subject to further negotiation.

Read more.

CATEGORIES: Making News , Economy
POSTED: Friday, December 16, 2011 | 1:00:00 AM |

County Responds to Washington Post on Economic Development Editorial

Last week, The Washington Post unfavorably compared Montgomery County job growth to that in Fairfax County, Virginia and questioned whether Montgomery County was “losing its edge.”

No way, no how.

Read the response from Economic Development Director Steve Silverman.

CATEGORIES: Economy
POSTED: Tuesday, November 22, 2011 | 10:23:00 PM |

County to be Home to $40 Million Investment by Chinese Biopharmaceutical Company

Montgomery County will be home to the largest Chinese investment ever made in Maryland when the Tasly Group – a leading biopharmaceutical company in China --  invests $40 million to locate a 430,000 square-foot production facility and training center in the Shady Grove Life Sciences Center.    

The company’s goal is to make Compound Danshen Dripping Pills (CDDP) the first traditional Chinese medicine product to launch as an FDA-approved pharmaceutical in the American market. Once approved by the FDA, the traditional Chinese medicine that would treat coronary diseases and angina could benefit more than 10 million patients a year, according to company estimates.

Dozens of new jobs are expected to be created at the facility over the next three years.

CATEGORIES: Economy
POSTED: Wednesday, June 15, 2011 | 6:00:00 AM |

White Flint Financing Plan to Spur Revitalization of North Bethesda Area

A plan from the County Executive that would help pay for major infrastructure improvements required by the White Flint Sector Plan has been approved by the County Council. This action will spur a revitalization effort transforming the North Bethesda area around Rockville Pike into a more urban and denser community strongly supported by public transit and designed to make residents and workers less dependent on automobiles.

The bill establishes a White Flint Special Taxing District and authorizes the levy of an added property tax on commercial properties that would go toward specific transportation infrastructure improvements in the area. The improvements would include creating street grids, streetscaping and bike lanes. Existing residential properties would be excluded from the tax district.

As the plan unfolds over the next couple decades, it is expected that an estimated 9,800 new residences will be added to thee approximately 2,300 residences currently in the plan area. Approximately 2,600 affordable housing units will be included. . A key element of the plan will be the way it incorporates the Bethesda North Conference Center and Hotel into the transformed neighborhood. The plan provides for public gathering space and local parks. The long-term vision suggests civic or entertainment uses, such as a community playhouse or theater.

Under the financing plan formulated by the County Executive, the County would provide advance funding to ensure that the improvements are made early in the project rather than relying on piecemeal development to drive the delivery of the needed improvements. The County’s investment would be repaid through funds collected from the taxing district. According to the plan, the tax district will expire when sufficient revenues have been raised to pay for all of the infrastructure items on the list.

CATEGORIES: Economy
POSTED: Monday, December 06, 2010 | 7:00:00 AM |

Montgomery County is Choice of Choice

Governor Martin O’Malley, Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett and City of Rockville Mayor Phyllis Marcuccio recently announced that Choice Hotels International (NYSE:CHH), one of the world’s largest lodging companies currently headquartered in Silver Spring, signed a letter of intent with the State, County and City to move its headquarters to Rockville when its current lease expires in 2013.

Since mid-2008, the company has been looking for a new headquarters of 130,000 square feet or more in the Capital Region to accommodate a growing number of employees and is in negotiations to lease office space in Rockville Town Center.

Once at their new location, the company plans to add 75 new employees, adding to its current base of approximately 400 employees in Maryland. Also under consideration is a Cambria Suites hotel near the proposed headquarters site to accommodate an estimated 10,000 stays per year generated by employee and franchisee training programs, as well as other community, vendor and hotel developer events.

Choice Hotels International, Inc. franchises more than 6,000 hotels, representing more than 490,000 rooms, in the United States and more than 35 other countries and territories. Read more.

CATEGORIES: Economy
POSTED: Monday, November 01, 2010 | 4:00:00 AM |

New Star Rising: Ground Broken for Fillmore Silver Spring

The latest star in Silver Spring’s arts and entertainment crown was forged on a warm day in early September when The State of Maryland, Montgomery County, Lee Development Group and Live Nation broke ground for the construction of the long-awaited new music hall, Fillmore Silver Spring.

Several hundred people gathered on the construction site off of Fenton Street, behind the historic J.C. Penney façade on Colesville Road, as County Executive Ike Leggett, Maryland Lt. Governor Anthony Brown, Lee Development Group President Bruce Lee and Live Nation’s DC President Ted Mankin joined other local elected officials and arts and business community members to turn the first shovels of dirt to begin construction of the Silver Spring Fillmore, set to open in the Fall of 2011.

The Fillmore Silver Spring will have a capacity of 500 to 2,000 and will feature crystal chandeliers, hardwood floors, dark painted red walls, historic rock art posters – and the iconic barrel of complimentary apples at the door. It will be inspired by the original Fillmore in San Francisco, which launched the careers of such rock, soul and jazz legends as Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Santana, Miles Davis and Otis Redding.

The project will boost business in Silver Spring and is projected to return $1.7 million in public benefits annually for the County and State from the start – over and above construction costs.

For additional information on The Fillmore Silver Spring project, go to http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/fillmore

CATEGORIES: Economy , News
POSTED: Saturday, September 04, 2010 | 9:00:00 AM |

NCI Comes to Montgomery County

Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett recently joined Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin, U.S. Representatives Chris Van Hollen and Donna Edwards, Montgomery County Council President Nancy Floreen, National Cancer Institute Director Dr. Harold Varmus, Johns Hopkins University President Ronald J. Daniels, General Services Administration (GSA) officials, representatives from The JBG Companies and other officials to mark the start of construction on a new, $200 million satellite campus at the Shady Grove Life Sciences Center for 2,100 employees of the National Cancer Institute.

The JBG Companies was selected to develop the complex as twin, seven-story buildings with a parking garage and shops on nine acres overlooking a large pond. JBG will register with the U.S. Green Building Council, and will pursue LEED Gold certification. A transit stop on the future Corridor Cities Transitway will connect to the Shady Grove Metro station, which will be critical to the success of this transit-oriented project.

Read more details on press release.

CATEGORIES: Economy
POSTED: Saturday, September 04, 2010 | 8:00:00 AM |

Eligible Residents Urged to Apply for Property Tax Relief Prior to November 1 Deadline

Eligible Montgomery County residents are encouraged to apply for the Maryland Homeowner’s Property Tax Credit program, which limits the amount of property taxes a homeowner must pay based on income.

An additional County supplement and a senior tax credit will automatically apply to eligible County residents. For a senior tax credit, residents must be age 70 or older.

No additional application is required for either the County supplement or the senior tax credit.  The deadline for the state application submission is November 1, 2010.

In order to be eligible, a homeowner must have:

  • A combined household income of less than $64,000;
  • Lived in their home for at least six months, or will live in it for the next 12 months; and
  • A combined net worth (of everyone in the applicant’s household) of no more than $200,000. This does not include the value of the primary residence or the cash value of any qualified retirement savings or individual retirement accounts.

To apply for the property tax credit program, eligible homeowners must fill out an application form each year.

To get an application form, call the Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT) at 1-800-944-7403, or download the form and instructions from the SDAT web site at www.dat.state.md.us/sdatweb/htc.html.

CATEGORIES: Economy , News , Tax , State
POSTED: Tuesday, August 17, 2010 | 7:00:00 AM |

Business Investment Pays Off

The importance of supporting local small business brought together local and state leaders to highlight the success that State and County funding has had in the relocation of Rosta’s, a women’s clothing store that has been in downtown Silver Spring for 25 years.

A combination of State and County funding leveraged private investment nearly five times and resulted in a newly renovated building that is creating jobs and preserving a local small business.

Cutting a tape measure to mark the renovation of the store’s new location at 8618 Fenton Street were (from left):  Director of Montgomery County's Dept. of Housing and Community Affairs Rick Nelson; County Executive Ike Leggett; Erma and Ali Rostai; Maryland Lt. Governor Anthony Brown; Maryland Dept. of Housing and Community Development Secretary Raymond Skinner; and District 20 Delegate Heather Mizeur. Rosta’s new store is scheduled to open later this month. Read more.

CATEGORIES: Economy
POSTED: Tuesday, August 17, 2010 | 6:00:00 AM |

County’s Unemployment Rate Falls

The unemployment rate for Montgomery County fell to 5.1 percent in April, a decline of more than half a percent from the 5.7 percent rate posted in March. The number of unemployed County residents was 26,207 in April, a decrease of 2,900 from the prior month.

After peaking at 6.2 percent in January, the County’s unemployment rate has declined each month. The April unemployment rate is the lowest since the April 2009 rate of 4.8 percent, but remains roughly twice the 2.5 percent rate in April two years ago.

For more information, download pdf

CATEGORIES: Economy
POSTED: Monday, June 14, 2010 | 6:00:00 AM |

Leggett, Federal, and State Housing Officials Highlight Acquisition and Rehabilitation of Vacant Foreclosed Homes

County Executive Ike Leggett recently joined County Council President Nancy Floreen, Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Deputy Secretary Clarence Snuggs, and federal and local housing officials to tour a formerly vacant foreclosed property in Germantown that is now available for rental through the Housing Opportunities Commission.

The acquisition and renovation of this house, as well as 15 others in Germantown and Wheaton, is part of a $7.1 million effort made possible by funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Neighborhood Stabilization Program, the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development’s Neighborhood Conservation Initiative and a HUD Community Development Block Grant.

The Housing Opportunities Commission provides the homes to eligible households with incomes less than 50 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI), or $51,750 for a family of four. Read more

CATEGORIES: County Executive , Economy
POSTED: Monday, June 14, 2010 | 5:00:00 AM |

Moving Up the Clean Energy Ladder

 

 

Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett and County Councilmember George Leventhal have announced that the Montgomery County Clean Energy Buyers Group, consisting of County jurisdictions and agencies, is now one of the largest green power purchasers in the nation after increasing its annual green power purchase to 161 million kilowatt-hours (kWh).

The group increased its ranking to number four on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Top 20 Local Government list and Number 22 on their National Top 50 list.  Montgomery County recently boosted its purchase of green energy to 30 percent of its electricity use, going well beyond its 2010 goal of 20 percent. 

The Buyers Group consists of Montgomery County Government, Montgomery County Public Schools, Montgomery College and the Maryland-National Park and Planning Commission.  Also participating are the City of College Park, Chevy Chase Village, Chevy Chase Village Section 5, City of Gaithersburg, City of Rockville, City of Takoma Park, Town of Glen Echo, Town of Kensington, Town of Laytonsville and Town of Somerset.

Collectively, the group is purchasing renewable energy certificates (RECs) from NextEra Energy Resources and Renewable Choice. Also known as green tags, RECs help offset or cancel out the impacts of the pollution created through a consumer’s electricity generation.  Green power is electricity generated from environmentally preferable renewable resources, such as wind, solar, geothermal, biogas, biomass and low-impact hydro.  Read more.

CATEGORIES: Economy , County Executive , County Council
POSTED: Friday, April 30, 2010 | 5:00:00 AM |

Leggett Encourages Council, Planning Board to Focus on White Oak Plan

With the Montgomery County Biosciences Task Force laying a strategy for growing the biosciences industry, the Council has now taken a major step toward leading the County into the next 30 years of growing knowledge-based jobs and developing communities of innovation.  The Great Seneca Sciences Corridor Master Plan provides for a place for science in the County.  But, County Executive Ike Leggett has reminded the Council this area cannot be the only place. 

In a recent letter to the Council, Leggett has urged them to “…now link the Great Seneca Sciences Corridor to other areas of the County with complementary science-based assets.  I am speaking of the White Oak planning area with the FDA’s Federal Research Campus, the Adventist Hospital campus, and the planned East County Science and Technology Center. 

“I am writing to encourage the Council and the Planning Board to modify the Planning Board’s workplan to move the White Oak Plan up to be the next priority for the Planning Board in its master plan revisions. By advancing this plan, we will send a clear message that Montgomery County is a premiere place to locate and develop communities of innovation where companies can locate near the federal assets that govern their work. The White Oak area can also provide growth capacity with opportunities for robust collaboration and ready access to an ever-developing workforce.

“By focusing on the White Oak Plan now – before the ICC is completed – we can make very clear that East to West, with NIH in the core, Montgomery County is the place for knowledge-based jobs and opportunities.” 

CATEGORIES: Economy , County Executive
POSTED: Friday, April 30, 2010 | 3:00:00 AM |

Green Economy Task Force Submits Recommendations to Leggett

Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett recently received the recommendations of the Green Economy Task Force from Chair Dick Wegman.  The task force was established last year by Leggett to help the County create opportunities for new and existing ‘green’ businesses, spur innovation, increase employment and develop next generation technologies.

The report was presented to Leggett at the Rockville Ice Arena, which will soon host Maryland's largest roof-mounted solar panel system, some 2,600 panels with a capacity of about 701 kilowatts. The Executive was joined by Montgomery County Councilmember and Ex-Officio Task Force Member Roger Berliner and Montgomery County Council President Nancy Floreen

To access the full report, with its 19 recommendations, visit the County’s website

CATEGORIES: Economy
POSTED: Wednesday, April 07, 2010 | 6:00:00 PM |

$2 Million Infusion to County’s Small Business Revolving Loan Fund

Through a strategic repositioning of a commitment made to Montgomery County as a result of County Executive Ike Leggett’s October 2008 business development mission to Korea, the County has made a critical two-million dollar infusion into its Small Business Revolving Loan Fund (SBRLF).

The SBRLF was established in 2002 as part of the Montgomery County Economic Development Fund Grant and Loan Program (EDF) and is managed by the Department of Economic Development (DED). Since then, more than $1.883 million in SBRLF loans has been distributed to 30 County businesses, many of which are minority owned.

This $2 million investment boosts to $2.4 million the amount available this year for small business loans. Read more.

CATEGORIES: Economy
POSTED: Tuesday, March 23, 2010 | 5:00:00 PM |

A Bold New Bioscience Strategy

“We can’t afford to rest on our laurels” was the message County Executive Ike Leggett delivered as he received a bold new bioscience strategy designed to position Montgomery County as a “globally recognized leader in advancing bioscience research and development, and in translating scientific discoveries into commercially available products that benefit human health.” The strategy was developed by the Biosciences Task Force, formed by Leggett in October 2008.

Joining the Executive in the announcement were Montgomery County Biosciences Task Force Chair David Mott, members of the County Council, Montgomery County Department of Economic Development Director Steve Silverman, members of the Task Force, and public and private sector stakeholders from the local biotech community.

The report includes the following five key objectives in addition to some of the priority strategies for each.

  1. Enhance the environment for entrepreneurship and the creation of new life science companies;
  2. Catalyze greater technology transfer and commercialization and leverage Montgomery County’s federal and academic assets more effectively;
  3. Foster a more enabling financial, regulatory and business environment;
  4. Enhance bioscience educational opportunities in Montgomery County and expand the higher education presence in Montgomery County to build a robust biosciences workforce; and
  5. Market Montgomery County’s bioscience sector nationally and internationally.

In 2008, the county’s biosciences industry generated combined revenues of $2.36 billion. It directly employed more than 9,200 workers in the private sector and an estimated 49,000 in federal government agencies. The average private sector biotech salary was $92,945 -- double the countywide average.

More details are in the news release, the full report and on YouTube video.

CATEGORIES: Economy
POSTED: Monday, January 04, 2010 | 2:01:00 PM |
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Last edited: 11/8/2010