MARC development moves along
Plans to transform the parking lot at the Savage MARC train station in Howard County into a small community of homes, offices, stores and a hotel are moving closer to fruition, part of Maryland's long effort to redevelop mass-transit parking lots.
Construction has not begun on any state-approved "transit-oriented development" projects, though a garage was built at the Owings Mills Metro station in Baltimore County. State transportation officials said that one project proposed at the State Center office complex in downtown Baltimore is expected to get under way this winter.
"We're all looking forward to see what these TODs look like," said Howard County Councilwoman Jen Terrasa, a Democrat who represents Savage. Plans for the project were first announced in August 2006 by then-Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R.)
Savage is one of 14 planned TODs in Maryland and the only one in Howard on the state's initial list of approved projects announced last summer by Gov. Martin O'Malley (D). Christopher Patusky, director of real estate for the Maryland Department of Transportation, said the state's list included projects furthest along and those that involved state land.
The designation brings with it state money and staff support as well as potential tax incentives. The state also approved a TOD at Laurel City in Prince George's County.
The concept is to cluster development around mass transit stations to promote use of the trains and help cut traffic, while putting lightly used state land back onto the tax rolls. Savage's station is located just off Route 32, only two miles from Fort Meade, where thousands of federal defense and cyber security employees and contractors will be coming to work over the next few years.