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Fort Ritchie Awarded $15 Million Tax Credit

The redevelopment of Fort Ritchie will receive a state tax credit worth up to $15 million, according to a news release from the Hogan administration.

The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development recently announced Fort Ritchie as the second recipient of the state of Maryland’s Catalytic Revitalization Tax Credit, designed to rehabilitate formerly government-owned properties for economic and community development purposes.The tax credit is for the comprehensive redevelopment and reuse at the historic site of the former military base.

“The redevelopment of Fort Ritchie will preserve a piece of history in Washington County, and be transformative for the surrounding community,” Gov. Larry Hogan said in a news release. “This project will create jobs and housing opportunities in a rural part of the state.”

During World War II, the property in Cascade served as the War Department Military Intelligence Training Center. Fort Ritchie was closed in 1998 under the Base Realignment and Closure Act.

The project is working in phases to adapt the existing historic stone buildings into retail and manufacturing, as well as provide new infill housing.

The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development also awarded the project a Community Legacy program grant earlier this year to turn a dilapidated structure at Fort Ritchie into an artisan village, as well as to preserve an historic Japanese Nisei mural inside, according to the release.

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What is the Catalytic Revitalization Tax Credit?

Passed in the 2021 General Assembly session and signed into law by Hogan, Senate Bill 885 created the Catalytic Revitalization Tax Credit, according to the release.

It supports the rehabilitation and renovation of a campus of properties formerly owned by the state of Maryland or the federal government, including colleges or universities; public schools; hospitals and mental health facilities, and; military facilities or installations.

These properties have typically been vacant for a significant time and often require mitigation of a variety of environmental and health hazards.

“The Catalytic Revitalization Tax Credit is one way the Department of Housing and Community Development can foster economic growth and revitalize areas across the state,” Acting Secretary Owen McEvoy said in the release. “The Fort Ritchie project is a great example of a worthwhile redevelopment that will serve the community.”

The tax credit was a recommendation of a study conducted by the Maryland Department of Planning. It is designed to fill financing gaps between the cost of rehabilitation and the market-rate value of the redeveloped property.

Proposed revitalization projects related to the rehabilitation of these government-owned properties must foster economic growth, job creation, affordable housing, and other community improvements and services.


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