Maryland joins MoCo in effort to eliminate office vacancies
Maryland will soon have its very own Make Office Vacancies Extinct (MOVE) Program intended to help tackle the staggering, double-digit suburban Maryland office market vacancy rate and attract new or expanding businesses to locate within the State.
Delegates Jeff Waldstreicher (D-18) and Charles Barkley (D-39) sponsored the measure to create a State Make Office Vacancies Extinct (MOVE) Program effective October 1, 2017.
The State Program is designed to match any funds provided by local MOVE programs with State dollars provided through the Maryland Department of Commerce and is modeled off of Montgomery County’s own MOVE Program, which launched in 2014 under the tutelage of SSGovRelations, LLC Founder/CEO Steve Silverman in his former capacity as Director of the Montgomery County Department of Economic Development.
MoCo’s MOVE Program is a part of the County’s Economic Development Fund and designed to attract businesses to lease Class A and B office space in the County. Through the MOVE Program, new or expanding businesses in the County may obtain financial incentives for leasing office space in the amount of $8.00 per sq. ft. up to 10,000 sq. ft. leased for a minimum of 3 years. The program has been hugely successful with over 26 companies having taken advantage of the program occupying over 100,000 sq. ft. of commercial space. Additionally, these companies have brought over 200 new jobs into the County.
However, with the current state of the regional office market, including roughly 20 million sq. feet of vacant commercial office space in Fairfax County, Virginia and the over 10 million sq. ft. of vacant office space in Montgomery County, there’s still a clear need for the expansion of such successful programs.
To qualify for the State MOVE Program, a business must be new or from outside the state and execute a lease for at least 3 years of up to 10,000 sq. ft.
Silverman led the push in Annapolis for the establishment of the State MOVE Program and worked closely with Delegate Waldstreicher in drafting the legislation, in addition to testifying before the House Economic Matters Committee in support of the bill on behalf of several property owners in the Montgomery County.
The bill passed the House of Delegates with a vote of 125-11 and passed the Senate unanimously early on Sine Die, the last day of the Maryland General Assembly session.
This does not represent any mandated funding and program expenditures may be made only in accordance with the State budget. (SSGovRelations)