260 Acre Technology Park Planned for Indian Head

COPT and Facchina Companies form Partnership with County; over 1500 new jobs could result from Western Charles County project

LA PLATA, Md. (Nov. 3, 2008)—The Commissioners of Charles County announced on Tuesday, October 28, that they have reached an agreement to form a public/private partnership to develop the Indian Head Science and Technology Park in the community of Bryans Road just north of the Naval installation at Indian Head. The private entity in this agreement is a joint venture between Corporate Office Properties Trust of Columbia, Maryland and the Facchina Companies of La Plata.

Working with the county, the partners will create a business park on approximately 260 acres between Maryland Route 210 (Indian Head Highway), Route 227, and Route 224. The park is adjacent to the Maryland Airport, a privately owned general aviation facility which has received approvals for runway and other facility improvements.

The Indian Head Science and Technology Park will include up to 1.3 million square feet of office, research, and manufacturing space targeted to industries with high salary range jobs. It’s expected that defense contractors who specialize in energetics technology – one of the primary activities of the installation at Indian Head – will be among the employers to occupy the Technology Park. Additionally, the location and the project layout will allow the county to attract companies in other high-tech industries as well, especially government and defense contractors.

“This project has been a long time coming,” said Charles County Commissioner President Wayne Cooper. “We wanted to be sure that we created a project that is a win for everyone – especially the people of Charles County. In addition to creating new jobs and new tax base in Charles County, the partnership has a commitment to ‘green buildings’ and enhancing our physical environment.”

Paul Facchina, Sr, founder of The Facchina Companies, concurred. “The new Science and Technology Park venture is a huge step forward in preserving the overall strength of Charles County. It took many years of hard work to get here and now that we have the Private Public Partnership in place to develop the Park, there will be more local employment opportunities ahead for the citizens of Charles County.”

The Indian Head Science and Technology Park had its genesis in the successful efforts by local environmental groups to prevent a planned residential and commercial development on a 2000+ acre tract known as Chapman’s Landing. When the state bought the property for preservation, a 50 acre parcel was given to the County in order to develop a business park. The land was to compensate for lost revenue that would have come from the Chapman’s Landing Development.

In 2005 when the land was transferred from the State to the County, a County-issued RFP caught the attention of several companies, include COPT and Facchina who both submitted proposals for the site. With the encouragement of the county, the two companies entered into a joint venture to develop that parcel along with adjacent property and submitted a Letter of Intent to Charles County. That began a series of negotiations that have resulted in this Public/Private Partnership Agreement.

Under the agreement, the County is responsible for infrastructure to the site, including water, sewer, and roads. The co-developers, COPT and Facchina, will be responsible for all infrastructure and development costs inside the park. The County’s economic development staff and the developers will work together to market the site and recruit companies to the location.

“With the County Commissioners vision to create primary employment centers within Charles County along with the guidance of Corporate Office Property Trusts and their partnership, we at The Facchina Group of Companies are proud to be part of this ambitious venture.” Said Charles McPherson, CEO of Facchina. “The Park will immediately accommodate the clients who support the Indian Head Naval Base and attract future investors. Over the next twenty years, the new Science and Technology Park will anchor western Charles County and give future employment opportunities to area residents and our many commuters for generations to come.”

George Robertson, the Director of the Charles County Economic Development Department foresees that the project will expand opportunities for the county. “The base at Indian Head is a catalyst for attracting energetics-related business, which the Indian Head Science and Technology Park will support. But it will also help us diversify our economy. The location on 210 is very accessible to the Capital Beltway and Interstate 95, which connects to the entire mid-Atlantic business corridor from Baltimore to Richmond, and even beyond. Information technology, high-tech manufacturing, financial services, I can see a wide range of companies and activities based there in the years to come.”

A fiscal impact study completed in July 2008 estimated that the project could accommodate 1,530 new jobs over a 14 year build out with $67.5 million in new employment payrolls. Annual net income to the county would be $1.5 in generated property taxes. Site plans and park lay out for the Indian Head Science and Tech Park are still in development. Expectations are that on-site activity could began as soon as spring of 2009.

Source: Commissioners of Charles County

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