Howard County and state officials broke ground Monday on a massive, multi-million dollar transportation project that they say will stimulate local economy, alleviate traffic tension and bring hundreds of jobs to the area, according to a release .
The Annapolis Junction project will feature 416 apartments, 100,000 square feet of office space, 17,000 square feet of retail space, a 150-room hotel and a 704-space garage for MARC commuters, the release states.
County Executive Ken Ulman, alongside Fort Meade and state officials, broke ground on the parking garage, which is the first phase of the project.
“This project came about after a lot of hard work to develop the tools needed to make it a reality,” Ulman said. “For example, we needed to develop a way to finance innovative projects, and Howard County created a tax-increment financing plan to fund the $17 million garage.”
The 19-acre development located near Fort Meade and is expected to be completed by spring 2016. The estimated cost of the project is about $180 million.
About 57,000 cars pass through Fort Meade daily, the release states.
Gov. Martin O’Malley touted the project’s environmental benefits in the release:
“We named this site a designated [transit oriented development] in 2008 to help us meet our goals of doubling transit ridership and reducing Maryland’s greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2020 and to create a sustainable Howard County community where people live, work and play within walking distance of transit. I want to thank County Executive Ulman for partnering with us to create an environmentally-friendly development that will create jobs and help support the men and women working at Fort Meade.”
It is expected that the project will create 712 new permanent jobs and hundreds of temporary construction jobs.