ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Howard County Executive Calvin Ball has announced applications are now being accepted for the County’s latest round of its transformational Route 1 Tax Credit Program. Overseen by the County’s Department of Planning and Zoning (DPZ) and in coordination with the Howard County Economic Development Authority (HCEDA), the program offers up to $100,000 in funding per site to commercial and industrial property owners along the Route 1 Corridor to assist them with renovating and improving the appearance of their properties. To date, the program has already supported 18 renovation projects.

Thanks to a strong partnership between DPZ, HCEDA and our commercial and industrial property owners who are willing to put in the work, the aesthetics of our Route 1 Corridor continue to improve. This program is essential to improving the look, feel and value of Route 1, and I am confident more property owners will join us in our mission to revitalize this important 12-mile stretch of Howard County.

Calvin Ball
Howard County Executive

To qualify for the tax credit, a property must have frontage onto Route 1, be adjacent to a property with Route 1 frontage, or be within the perimeter of Map 20.129D (Elkridge). The property must also be less than 15 acres, be up to date on property tax payments and have no existing code violations. Commercial and industrial property owners interested in renovating the exterior of their property, are encouraged to visit the Route 1 Tax Credit Program website to learn more about the program and how to apply. Applications are accepted on a non-competitive, first come, first served basis.

This newest application period follows a successful Fiscal Year 2023 period, when the program’s maximum allowance of $250,000 was awarded to properties along the corridor, including Fleetpro, Galaxy Electronics, Napa Auto Parts, Amani Investments Group, and the Holiday Inn in Columbia-Jessup. Improvements include replacing missing signage with an LED lighted sign, replacing windows, new paint, revamped stucco and installing new light fixtures for safety and enhanced ambiance.

The tax credit allowed us to give our property a facelift that we could otherwise not fit into our budget. It helped us paint and modernize our building, which sits on the busy intersection of Route 1 and Route 175. We have received many compliments on the new look, which significantly improves the old and dated color scheme.

Ankur Patel
Representative, Holiday Inn

Patel further added, “It has been a difficult few years for the hospitality industry. Still, with business returning to the sector, we are excited about having a refreshed building to help drive guests to our property. Howard County staff was very easy to work with and gave clear instructions on everything we would need to apply for the grant. The process was smooth and efficient. I have been recommending this program to other businesses in the area to help improve the look and feel of the corridor.”

In the coming year, DPZ and HCEDA will continue to work with stakeholders and potential applicants to better understand and respond to the corridor’s challenges, educate potential property owners about the tax credit program, and create a strategy for property owners to achieve the renovations that will enhance the appearance of their properties. 

For more information and/or to apply, contact DPZ at 410-313-2350 or visit the Route 1 Tax Credit Program website.

Media Contacts
Safa Hira, Director of Communications
Lynda Eisenberg, Director, Department of Planning and Zoning

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