Hogan Joins Mistletoe Hall Kickoff
Photo by Christina Acosta
On Friday afternoon, Oct. 19, local, county and state officials gathered to announce construction on Easton’s new commerce and business park at the Mistletoe Hall Farm.
The 86.25-acre parcel on Goldsborough Neck Road, which comprises seven parcels, offers a prime location to encourage entrepreneurial activity and support business expansion and attraction. The land was set aside many years ago for business and industrial use, and long has been part of Easton’s plans for growth.
Funding for the development came by a public-private partnership that secured the U.S. Department of Commerce and Economic Development Administration grant. The federal agency announced in early October that it had awarded Easton a grant for $2,282,750 to complete the infrastructure improvements necessary for the park’s development.
“Four years ago, we pledged to make Maryland more business friendly, to grow our private sector, put more people to work and turn our economy around, and that is exactly what we have done,” Gov. Larry Hogan said. “We have had the best year for business in more than a decade and the best year for job growth in 15 years. We went from losing 100,000 jobs to gaining 100,000 jobs. Now more businesses are open, and more people are working more than before.”
The new business park will become home to the expansion of the Whalen Company, a major HVAC manufacturing business. It also will be a location for existing businesses and new commercial tenants.
The funding will allow for the roads, storm water management and utilities to be constructed, resulting in a “pad” space available for short- or long-term lease. The project is expected to take 24 to 36 months to complete.
Portions of Goldsborough Neck and Airport Road have been slated for future improvements to accommodate the development of a new regional hospital site off U.S. Route 50 near the Talbot County Community Center.
“Thanks to Gov. Hogan, we have administered the Rural Maryland Prosperity Investment Fund. This find was created in 2006, and under Gov. Hogan, we have received full funding in FY19,” said Charlotte Davis, Rural Maryland Council executive director.
The Mid-Shore Regional Council was instrumental in helping the town and dounty to secure the grant funding for this project. MSRC Chairman Walter Chase said the project has been listed for many years in the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy. The project strengthens the Mid-Shore’s business environment and resources, and he said he is pleased to have played a role in securing the funding.
Linda Cruz-Carnall, regional director at the U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration, echoed Hogan’s sentiments for the need for a fruitful partnership to stimulate business growth for the state.
“The Mid-Shore team assists EDA in delivering our long-term goal of strategic and continuous economic development planning for the region, embodying the document, affectionately known as the CEDS, Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy,” Cruz-Carnall said.
She said it was through this continuous planning process that the council identified the loss of over 600 manufacturing jobs since 2007 through plant closures in Talbot County.
The project enables the creation of 55 new manufacturing jobs. It also will achieve the retention of 137 jobs and private investment of $4.5 million. The park also will have an air industry-related business site for the adjacent Easton Airport.