OED 2021 Annual Report

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Frederick County Office of Economic Development (OED) is the catalyst for commercial growth. OED’s mission is to increase the overall economic health of Frederick County through attracting new businesses in key industries and helping existing businesses be more successful.



Joint Message from the Under 40 Staff of Frederick County Office of Economic Development and Workforce Services

From left: Laura Brown, Amanda Lee, Katie Stevens, Sara Hanewinckel, Britt Swartzlander, Wesley Leatherman, Kara Fritz, Solash Aviles-Montanez, Jaz Parks, and Shana Knight. Not pictured are Becca Tucker, Mark Tumulty and Haleigh Sylvester.

The currents of change, innovation and adaptation remained strong in 2021 and are seen in every aspect of our lives—from the way we learn and socialize to how we buy groceries or receive medical care—but especially in the way we work and in the way we engage with customers. The unfailing spirit of determination, creativity and forward-looking vision continue to be seen across our community and represent the best outcomes of this year.

In 2021 Livability.com surveyed over 1,000 millennials about the factors that are most important to them when deciding where to live, including affordability, job opportunities, diversity, and inclusion. Frederick ranked fourth in the 100 Best Places to Live in America. As one of the Top 10 Remote-Ready Cities in the U.S., Frederick is a hot spot for remote workers. With a median age of 38 there’s a lot the county has to offer Under 40s such as outdoor recreation, history and museums, arts and theater, culinary delights and shopping.

From rebuilding to starting new, there is much going on in Frederick that gives us hope for a bright future. This year’s Top 50 under 40 highlights the rising entrepreneurs, creators, community activists and young leaders that are confidently paving the way for what comes next. The young professionals featured here have worked hard to get where they are, and they are definitely not finished. They are setting the tone and pace for tomorrow.

Frederick County Office of Economic Development and Workforce Services are where employees and big ideas grow. We collaborate, we are bold, we are innovative, we connect and we lead. To read more about our under 40 staff visit: www.discoverfrederickmd.com/news/under40



Top Economic Development Projects Quantum Loophole Master Planned Data Center Campus A revolution in data center development is underway. Quantum Loophole Inc., (QL) is designing the world’s first-of-its-kind gigawatt scale master plan data center campus. The State of Maryland enacted a tax exemption in 2020 and within months, Quantum Loophole was in discussions with Frederick County for its visionary project that paves a 10- to 15-year path for direct and indirect capital investment, job creation and advanced technology capacity for the region. QL purchased the 2,100-acre former Alcoa Eastalco Works site and will transform the former brownfield site into a super green community. Josh Snowhorn, founder, CEO of Quantum Loophole says, “Incorporating an ethically planned and community-centric design that puts sustainability at the forefront, our master plan data center cities are designed to offer Gigawatt levels of critical power, leverage cutting-edge technology, and offer mass scale fiber to nearby networking hubs. Our approach to shared infrastructure and preplanned site approvals improves performance, expedites time to market, while solving for the expediency and scalability large capacity data center operators require well into the future.”

Ellume Diagnostics Manufacturing Facility Ellume, an Australianbased company, chose Frederick County for its U.S. headquarters in the United States. It will produce tests for infectious diseases, including athome rapid tests for COVID-19 to support ongoing U.S. pandemic preparation and response. The



company will invest more than $20 million into Frederick County and occupy 180,000 square feet on Executive Court South in the Progress Labs corporate park. The project is expected to create about 1,400 new jobs by the end of 2022. “We look forward to building the foundation for Ellume’s long-term vision in the U.S. and recruiting the highly skilled talent in Maryland’s Biotech Corridor needed to fuel our flagship U.S. facility,” says Jeff Boyle, PhD, Ellume U.S. President. “Frederick is the ideal location for Ellume as we continue to work closely with the U.S. government in delivering COVID-19 tests to communities across the country. The facility will serve as a foundation for Ellume to support the domestic response to the COVID-19 pandemic and better prepare the U.S. for future public health crises.”

Kite Pharma Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing Kite, a Gilead Company, leads innovative cell therapies for people battling cancer. The company completed its state-of-the-art T-cell therapy production facility in Urbana and now has 150 employees. The company has begun the next critical phase of its operations to obtain FDA validation of its manufacturing processes. Once fully operational, the Urbana manufacturing site will produce various investigational T-cell receptor (TCR) therapies, including the commercially available personalized cancer treatment Yescarta®. This life-saving work changes the treatment of cancer and is happening in Frederick County. Kite expects to add 400 jobs to the area.

The Kroger Co. High Tech Customer Fulfillment Center eCommerce Facility The Kroger Co., the nation’s largest grocery retailer, in partnership with the Ocado Group, the world’s largest online grocery retailer, purchased land in Frederick County to revitalize a vacant Toys R Us distribution facility and is constructing an industry-leading High-Tech Customer Fulfillment Center slated to open later in 2022. This 700,000 SF structure will be the epicenter of direct-to-consumer deliveries, with more than 1,000 robots to retrieve products and prepare them for delivery to thousands of online customers. The Kroger Co. is projected to employ up to 500 workers.

Frederick Health Hospice, Call Center and IT Services Critical Care Pavilion In 2021, Frederick County was ranked the fastest-growing county in Maryland. A growing population requires more services, jobs and community services. As an anchor institution Frederick Health plays an important role in economic vitality in addition to supporting current and future health needs. Frederick Health employs 3,300. Goods and services that the hospital system purchases create additional economic value within the community. In 2019 Frederick Health acquired the former State Farm property. Renamed Frederick Health Village, it ensures capacity to meet future needs. In 2021, progress continued with expansion at the 7th Street hospital to enhance critical care services, including an expanded emergency department, integration of pediatric emergency services and pediatric inpatient care, expansion of critical care beds, and a third floor for interventional cardiology services. All phases of the project are expected to be completed by December 2023.

Costco Wholesale Wholesale Distribution Center and Ecommerce Center In 2010, Costco Depot found Frederick County to be an ideal location for a distri-

AROUND THE CORNER In 2022 OED is completing a branding process and we look forward to sharing the OED brand with our community. This achieves a milestone objective of the Growth Opportunity Strategy to enhance Frederick County’s recognition and stature in regional and national markets. In 2019 County Executive Jan Gardner hosted a roundtable on Agriculture Issues. One concept that came out of this was the need for a Value Added Agriculture facility to showcase local products and new technologies to allow farmers to grow and become sustainable through value added products. In 2022, a feasibility study will be completed on this concept.

bution center and e-commerce fulfillment hub due to its central location and proximity to a highway network. Costco Depot has just completed its fourth phase of expansions. Together, Costco Depot and Costco E-Commerce now total over 1 million square feet and employ 1,100plus workers.

Tonix Pharmaceuticals Infectious Disease R&D Center Tonix Pharmaceuticals’ new location will enable the company to accelerate the discovery and in-house development of antiviral drugs and vaccines for COVID-19 and other infectious diseases. “This R&D facility will expand our capabilities to prepare against existing and emerging infectious threats,” says Dr. Seth Lederman, MD, CEO of Tonix who described Frederick as the center of the world, with our big asset Fort Detrick and the amazing workforce available in the county.


The FRED Awards will return as a spring event in 2022 to recognize the tremendous commercial project activity over the prior 23 months. Our county has seen strong growth in new business locations, expansions and renovations and the FRED Awards honor the commercial real estate community deal makers behind this activity. OED will be launching a new website in 2022, MadeinFrederickMD.com. It was developed to communicate a positive image of Frederick County’s manufacturing industry and highlight the advantages of starting, expanding and locating to the county. The website will provide resources, a manufacturing directory and a job board for companies.

OED, in partnership with Platinum PR, will develop an Employer Resource File, a self-assessment survey for organizations, business leadership and individuals to evaluate diversity and inclusion and workplace goals. The Resource File will include a toolkit and other resources to bring awareness for pathways to economic inclusion. Frederick County’s Bio Roundtable is a collaboration between OED and Workforce Services. It provides focused support to the growing biotech community through discussions, workshops, education and workforce development opportunities.



Industry Growth

Life Sciences Frederick County has a solid and expanding life sciences ecosystem that includes industry giants such as Kite Pharma, AstraZeneca, Lonza and Thermo Fisher Scientific, locally started RoosterBio and BioFactura, and many small and emerging firms such as CarrTech and Veralox. In 2021 we witnessed amazing growth across all sectors with new firms selecting Frederick County and existing firms expanding physical space and workforce. Locally owned CIAN Diagnostics provides a complete range of diagnostic, toxicology, molecular/ genetic testing and laboratory services. They significantly expanded their employee count from 17 to 230 and added over 100,000 SF to provide COVID-19 testing services for employers, schools and international travelers. In response to COVID19 Thermo Fisher Scientific began supplying instruments, test kits, and reagents for COVID-19 testing needs. To support these efforts, the company expanded adding 89,746 SF and 450 jobs. With 617,245 SF and 950 employees in Frederick County, Thermo Fisher Scientific is a Top 10 Major Employer. Equally impressive is the private sector’s investment in streamlining and accelerating the way life science buildings are designed, built and managed. Anticipating future needs for lab space, incuba-



tors and facilities are developed to provide immediate availability for emerging and established life science firms regionally and across the globe. MATAN Companies developed speculative biomanufacturing ready space Progress Labs at Center 85 to meet the growing demand. The site is a five-building 700,000 SF development. Australian-based company, Ellume, chose this location for their first U.S.-based manufacturing site. They are leasing two full buildings, totaling over 180,000 SF. The third building is under construction; the fourth is a build-to-suit opportunity and building five will break ground Q1 2022. OED partnered with Workforce Services, Frederick Community College and The City of Frederick Department of Economic Development to offer the first Biotech Bootcamp. This free fourweek training program is designed to teach participants the basic skills needed for entry-level positions in the biotech industry. Following the successful completion of the course, program members will be matched with local biotech companies for entry-level job position interviews. The biotech industry in Frederick County is experiencing rapid growth and has a high demand for entrylevel workers. The Biotech Bootcamp program will address that need and assist residents who wish to transition into this field of work. If interested visit www.frederick.edu/news/fcc-announcesthe-first-biotech-bootcamp.aspx.

Craft Beverage Frederick County leads the state in the combined number of wineries, breweries and distilleries. In 2021 two additional farm-based craft beverage businesses opened, Prospect Point Brewing and Rosie Cheeks Distillery. Existing craft beverage businesses have seen continued demand for their local products and have expanded to add over 34,000 SF. The industry is projected to see continual growth in 2022. The County is home to the first farm brewery, Milkhouse Brewery at Stillpoint, first meadery, Orchid Cellars Meadery & Winery, and first cidery in Maryland, Distillery Lane Ciderworks as well as the largest winery, Linganore Winecellars, and largest brewery, Flying Dog, in the state. Frederick County’s craft beer scene is lively with 17 existing breweries and more in development.

Municipality Impact

2021 Selected Company Locations & Expansions: Quantum Loophole, Inc. (L)

Middletown Middletown received top honors in 2021 as the recipient of a Maryland Economic Development Association (MEDA) Recognition Program award for the transformation of downtown into a cultural destination through community based economic development. The impact is that older buildings are being renovated and new companies are locating to the area. www.discoverfrederickmd.com. Thurmont Thurmont implemented a marketing strategy to grant businesses a greater opportunity for cross promotion and collaboration, resulting in the opening or growth of several businesses. A website, Local Connections, was created to promote merchants, local events and activities, and support the community. www.thurmontmainstreet.com. Frederick In 2021, Downtown Frederick Partnership and The City of Frederick engaged Design Collective and RK&K to study the streetscapes of Market and Patrick streets to create thoughtful design solutions, set priorities and determine a framework for future streetscape improvements. After two community workshops, a public survey which received 1,952 responses and seven months of study, the City and the Partnership published a final draft report in November 2021. www.downtownfrederick.org/ streetscapestudy/



Infrastructure Phase

2,100 8

Chestnut Hill Farm & Market, LLC (E)


Moon Valley Farm (L)



District Farms (E)



Ellume (L)



Costco Distribution (E)


CIAN Diagnostics (E)


Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc. (E)



YMCA of Frederick County (E)



Heartland Home Foods, Inc. (L)



Tonix Pharmaceuticals Holding Corp. (L)



Lidl (L)



Criswell Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM of Thurmont (E)



Krietz Auto (E)



MacroGenics (L)



Prolist, Inc. (E)



Surveillance Secure (L)



Tenth Ward Distilling Company (E)



McClintock Distilling (E)



Players Fitness and Performance (E)



Menocal Family Practice (E)



Idiom Brewing Co. (E)



Steinhardt Brewing Company (E)


171,650 130,000


(L): Locations, (E): Expansions

OED partners with the Maryland Small Business Development Center (MDSBDC) and the Maryland Women’s Business Center to support small businesses across the county. In 2021 they reported assisting a total of 29 new business that added 80 new jobs.



271,717 Population (2020) Largest Growth Rate in Maryland (16.4%, 2010-2020)



Numbers T W O - T H O U S A N D

Millennial Population Growth Rate (2010-2020)



Commerical & Industrial Construction Costs

Maryland 8%




Added Millennials (25-34 year olds)


Since 2010


97,212 People Employed in Frederick County









Businesses in Frederick County

Frederick County’s Bond Rating Only 49 U.S. counties have this rating.




Commercial Asking Rent Per SF $15

Frederick County’s Unemployment Rate


Maryland 5.3%, National 4.6%

$13 $12 $11 2016






CoStar, 3rd quarter data

Housing Permits Issued 3,000

COVID-19 Business Grants




1,279,981 Square Feet Leased The amount of commercial space businesses leased in the last 12 months.

$4,794,432 $8,408,449

1,500 750



0 16 20

17 20

18 20

19 20

20 20



Frederick County’s Annual Wages




Value of Commercial and Industrial Construction Costs

Commercial Asking Rent per Square Foot

Overall Commercial Vacancy Rate

as of 3rd quarter 2020

Compared to $12.24 5 years ago.

Includes Office, Industrial, Flex Costar 3rd Quarter TOP50




Moon Valley Farm, owned by Top 50 Under 40, Emma Jagoz, is a community-supported, firstgeneration farm growing certified organic vegetables and herbs for Maryland and D.C. With help from the Agricultural Innovation Grant, Moon Valley Farm installed an irrigation system. “It gives me great peace of mind that I will be able to water my crops and not just watch them underperform or even die from lack of adequate irrigation. I am grateful for the county for offering this and will do my best to return the value to our community in the form of fresh veggies for many years to come,” Jagoz says.

Frederick County COVID-19 Business Grants— Beginning in May 2020, Frederick County government formed a grants team of members from Economic Development, Finance, and Interagency Information Technology. Over 2,500 grants totaling $16.5M were awarded since June 2020 and many small business owners shared how grant funds helped them continue to move forward at a difficult time. “When I discovered that I was receiving the Microgrant I felt blessed…It enabled me to pay my rent (previous and future), utilities, restock supplies, insurance and purchase all of the supplies needed to meet the safety protocols for a safe environment for my business. Thank you for the generosity of this grant so that I can pass all of this on to my clientele and continue to provide a safe place for my clients and myself.”

Frederick County Agricultural Innovation Grant— To improve the economic viability of Frederick County farms, OED developed the Agricultural Innovation Grant, awarding $504,000 to 24 businesses to diversify their operations and create value added products. The new grant received the Maryland Sustainable Growth Award for Preservation and Conservation by the Maryland Department of Planning, recognizing outstanding efforts to save Maryland’s farm and forest land and supporting a sustainable future for farms.



EmPOWER Diversity & Inclusion Program— For many years, OED has been committed to economic inclusion and in 2015 created a program to bring together the minority business community and develop a strong platform for businesses to start, locate and grow. In 2020, OED in partnership with Platinum PR expanded their diversity & inclusion offerings and created a new and improved program, EmPOWER, to create an environment of economic inclusion in Frederick County that supports all business owners, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, ability or religion. With the help of focus groups, OED identified priority areas in three key initiatives: outreach, education and support. EmPOWER offers a wide variety of resources from marketing, blog posts, business directory listing, monthly networking opportunities and an eight-week mentorship program and the outcomes achieved have been strong. EmPOWER Impact:

» Hosted (5) Focus Group Sessions with underrepresented businesses to address needs. » Developed marketing strategy including a new text marketing campaign.

» Created EmPOWER webpage to include business directory, resources, mentoring program, networking events and blogs. » Developed eight-week Mentorship program for growth stage businesses from October to December 2021. » Increased number of businesses in the business directory by 132% and added information on NAICS Code, website, contact information. » Interviewed and wrote (20) blogs highlighting underrepresented businesses in Frederick County. » Coordinated (7) monthly virtual networking events in 2021.

Business Appreciation Week— For 21 consecutive years, OED has coordinated Business Appreciation Week, one of the largest business retention programs in Maryland. OED and our economic development partners visited 102 businesses in one week that started, expanded or located to Frederick County during 2020-2021 and cited location, community, quality of life and business support resources as their main reason for operating here. They received marketing exposure and an opportunity to win a $5,000 marketing package from Manning Media. By the Numbers » 4 Started; 51 Expanded; 47 Located » 37 Ambassadors » 1,094 Jobs Created » 842,000+ SF and 34 Agricultural Acres Added » $88M Capital Expenditures

Frederick County is a Great Place to Live » Frederick, MD named the “Hottest Housing Market in Maryland” per Rocket Homes® » The trend for median days on market in Frederick County has decreased from 19 days in 2019 to 8 days in 2020. » Total units sold increased by 23.3%, with 5,548 units sold in 2020 compared to 4,500 units sold in 2019. Housing permits reached a new high. » Permits issued in Frederick County increased 39.3% from 1,868 in 2016 to 2,602 in 2020. • 1,133 Single family detached units • 1,085 Townhouse units • 384 Multi-family units

Stay Connected 1st Frederick County Craft Beverage Passport— OED partnered with Downtown Frederick Partnership and Visit Frederick to encourage support of the craft beverage community. In addition to receiving savings for 18 of Frederick County’s Wineries, Breweries and Distilleries, passport holders were also entered to win $200 worth of gift cards to their favorite craft beverage businesses. The program was so successful; more than 450 passports were sold out in a matter of hours.

THE FREDERICK COUNTY OFFICE OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT 118 N. Market St., Suite 300 Frederick, MD 21701 | 301.600.1058 www.discoverfrederickmd.com www.homegrownfrederick.com www.rootfrederick.com Connect with us at Discover Frederick, MD, Homegrown Frederick and ROOT Frederick on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook

» An average of 40 coupons were redeemed per business » 700+ individual visits to participating businesses



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