Millions in DBED bonds to finance UM BioPark, other projects
January 3, 2011 — Gazzette.net
The University of Maryland BioPark, a Baltimore hotel and three buildings in Hagerstown are getting a significant boost from the 2009 federal stimulus law.
The projects are receiving partial financing from the proceeds of millions in tax-exempt bonds issued by the Maryland Industrial Development Financing Authority.
The financing is through a program created by the stimulus law that allows proceeds from the sale of "recovery zone" facility bonds to be used for projects that don't qualify for tax-exempt financing. The bonds needed to be sold by Friday – the last day of 2010 – for projects within a designated "recovery zone," an area of significant economic distress.
The city of Baltimore and counties throughout the state were allowed a certain amount of bond funds to issue, but they returned the unused portions back to the authority, which is under the state Department of Business and Economic Development. The authority was able to allocate most of the $147 million worth of bonds returned by Friday, said Timothy Doyle, program manager for DBED's financing programs.
The university's BioPark in Baltimore is receiving $65 million in financing for its planned third commercial lab and office building. Those bonds are backed by a letter of credit from M&T Bank, Doyle said.
Construction of the third building, being developed by Baltimore developer Wexford Science + Technology, is expected to begin this year, according to the BioPark's website. BioPark and Wexford executives could not be reached for comment Monday. The building is expected to measure about 180,000 square feet.
The BioPark launched in 2003 and opened its first 120,000-square-foot commercial building in 2005. A second 238,000-square-foot building was unveiled in 2007. The complex also features the 120,000-square-foot, $44 million Forensic Medical Center, home to the Maryland Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, which opened in September.
Companies in the BioPark include Paragon Bioservices, which focuses on developing biologics and is in the midst of a second expansion which is expected to double its existing manufacturing capacity and add laboratories. Completion of the expansion is expected by June. Another project obtaining financing from the state is the $197 million, 256-room Four Seasons Hotel. That hotel, slated to open by December in downtown Baltimore, is receiving the proceeds of $45 million in bonds issued by the state.
The three Hagerstown projects and their bond amounts are as follows:
*$10 million to VTI of Maryland for a manufacturing building on Western Maryland Parkway.
*$7.5 million to Trilogy Enterprises for a medical office building on Imperial Drive.
*$5.3 million to Bergman Eye Center for a medical office building on Champion Drive.