BRAC brings us a building boom

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    If you were wondering when we were going to start feeling the effects of the military base restructuring that has promised us thousands of new jobs in Harford County, listen closely. You should be able to hear the hammering of office space under construction. A story in today’s Baltimore Sun says that unlike the unlucky counties suffering through the recession with no promise of new BRAC tenants, Harford County is seeing office parks going up all around Aberdeen Proving Ground. According to the Sun story, they can’t be built fast enough. Some top military contractors began looking for office space earlier this year and had trouble finding what they needed. By 2011, the government is expected to move 8,200 military and civilian jobs to Aberdeen Proving Ground. From 13,000 to 17,000 contractor jobs are expected to follow. That’s a lot of people who will be moving to Harford County soon.  The story says St. John Properties started work on five buildings in the Government and Technology Enterprise (GATE) business park on the Army base. Corporate Office Properties Trust of Columbia is developing 850,000 square feet of office space in the North Gate office park outside the base. Other planned office projects include Merritt Properties’ Aberdeen Corporate Center on Route 22 and Commons at Fieldside Village near Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen. James Run Corporate Campus at Interstate 95 and Route 543 is expected to include shops, a hotel and 850,000 square feet of office space. (Click here to see the Baltimore Sun’s map locating all these properties.)

    BRAC workers relocated from Fort Monmouth, N.J. are already settling in here. Greg Paye of Maryland Fencing Club in Abingdon told me he met a relocating BRAC family who stopped by his club while they were looking at houses in the Abingdon area. Sounds like it’s all starting to happen now.