ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Howard County Executive Calvin Ball today issued an Expression of Interest (EOI) for a Master Plan that will guide the transformation of the Gateway Business Park into the premier “Innovation District” on the east coast. The County’s pending General Plan Update, HoCo By Design, calls for a bold redevelopment of the 1,000+ acre industrial and office park into a major hub for employment, entertainment and innovation.  The EOI seeks a multi-disciplinary consultant team experienced with master planning efforts of this magnitude. 

We will develop an ambitious vision that keep us forward-looking, equipped to address the challenges of today and ready to seize the opportunities of tomorrow. As the center for innovation, Gateway will leverage the strengths of its location, cutting-edge technology and a suite of assets to attract employers, residents and visitors from the Baltimore-Washington corridor and beyond.

Calvin Ball
Howard County Executive

Gateway is strategically located close to Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, I-95, MD-175 and adjacent to Downtown Columbia. The planning area is primed for redevelopment into a vibrant mixed-use community, which will provide a full-spectrum of new housing opportunities and desirable public amenity spaces.

Redevelopment of Gateway will take advantage of the lessons learned from Downtown Columbia and meet the needs of businesses and residents. By leveraging smart city technology as well as efficient planning techniques, we can continue to offer places to live, work, and play essential to the economic strength of our community.”

Cyndi Gula
Chair, Howard County Economic Development Authority

A reimagined Gateway will be a smart, connected and complete community ready to embrace new technologies like autonomous systems, clean and sustainable buildings and energy as well as nature-based climate solutions. 

“The Gateway area is a major driver of economic development and employment in the County,” said Leonardo McClarty, President and CEO of the Howard County Chamber of Commerce. “Yet, it remains full of untapped potential and its growth will play a critical role in the economic vitality of the County.”
The Department of Planning and Zoning (DPZ) will partner with HCEDA, other agencies, and the consultant team to refine and build on the overarching vision for Gateway laid out in HoCo By Design. This planning effort will inform future zoning, phasing and critical infrastructure development.
“APL is excited to see the Gateway District harness innovation and advance trusted “smart” solutions that we have assisted Howard County and its Economic Development Authority to explore over the last year,” said Cara LaPointe, APL program manager and co-director of the Johns Hopkins Institute for Assured Autonomy. “We look forward to our continued collaboration to deliver a more sustainable, affordable, and prosperous community to live, work and visit through this planning process.”
The Master Plan will build upon insights and concepts developed by the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory’s (APL) Institute for Assured Autonomy, a national center of excellence for artificial intelligence (AI) and smart autonomous systems. A Memorandum of Understanding between APL, the County and HCEDA in April of 2022 prompted evaluation of concepts around autonomous systems, clean and sustainable energy, population health and cybersecurity in a reimagined Gateway.
“Gateway represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform a traditional office park into a regional destination that enhances Howard County’s housing, economic, cultural and infrastructure offerings,” said Mary Kendall, Deputy Director of Planning and Zoning. “The planning process will rely upon input from a wide range of stakeholders in order to develop a thoughtful and inclusive document.”
The Gateway Master Plan will engage community members, business owners and innovation leaders to ensure its vision is aspirational, inspirational, yet achievable while creating a unique sense of place and serving as the model for environmentally sensitive and energy-independent redevelopment. 
The successful consultant team should possess experience in community-based planning, real estate development analysis, market economics research, environmental planning and urban design.
Interested parties may review the Expression of Interest here under the “documents” tab. Proposals are due on July 5, 2023 before 10:59 a.m.  A virtual Pre-Submittal Meeting will occur on Wednesday, May 31, 2023 at 3:00 p.m.  Questions about this solicitation should be directed to Jennie Rittenhouse, buyer with the Howard County Office of Procurement, at jrittenhouse@howardcountymd.gov.  All additional information about the pre-submittal meeting and proposal submission instructions, can be found on the County’s website here.

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