Cecil County, Maryland Is an Ideal Location for Your Business

Cecil County Maryland offers industrial land, major market proximity and a skilled workforce

By
Kevin Litwin
On Monday, January 13, 2020 - 09:45
Fireworks in Cecil County, Maryland

New Industrial Epicenter Along I-95

Cecil County, Maryland has garnered much attention locally and regionally in recent years, with the county’s job base growing by 10 percent between 2017 and 2019. The business community has worked together to ensure that this momentum continues. With a great location, availability of industrial land, major market proximity, and a skilled workforce, Cecil County’s best days are ahead.

Cecil County, graced with over 240 miles of shoreline along the Chesapeake Bay and five rivers, is ideally located halfway between Washington, D.C. and New York along I-95. Cecil County features a diverse mix of businesses, including institutions such as Northrop Grumman, WL Gore, and Cecil College that have been in Cecil County for more than 170 years combined. Also prospering are newer employers like Amazon, Fortress Steel, Medline, and many others.

When considering whether an area would make a strong business location, companies tend to focus on four primary factors: skilled labor availability, highway access, land availability, and major market proximity. Cecil County has an advantage inall four factors, with a skilled workforce being the most critical for business success.

Higher and Hire

With the influx of jobs recently, and  with more coming in the near future and a low unemployment rate, Cecil County is focusing on both developing a work-force pipeline and attracting new workers to live in the county. The Cecil County Public Schools system, particularly its School of Technology, has become a tremendous asset in developing a strong workforce pipeline for the business community. When coupled with Cecil College and its deep set of degree and certificate programs, the educational community has been instrumental in reacting to employer workforce needs, regardless of the type of skills required.

Cecil County, Maryland, features a diverse mix of businesses.
Cecil County Office of Economic Development

Land of Opportunity

Land availability in the growth corridor is a key competitive advantage that Cecil County has over its neighbors. While other counties in the market are nearly built out, Cecil County has many opportunities for business growth and development projects such as mixed use, commercial, and residential. Most of these sites are within a 15-minute drive of I-95. There are also three Opportunity Zones encompassing 19,000 acres in Cecil County’s growth corridor.

Nearby jurisdictions have either large industrial sites that are a long distance from Interstate 95 or sites that face costly redevelopment in order to be development-ready. Having greenfield sites queued up is a major plus for Cecil County, and site readiness was a prime reason why Great Wolf Lodge recently chose a site in Cecil County over other locations in the mid-Atlantic region.

Cecil County is home to business/industrial parks that are rich with opportunity. For instance, Bainbridge is an 1,100-acre former naval training center overlooking Port Deposit and the Susquehanna River, and Bainbridge has recently made great progress toward commercial development that has been decades in the making.

When discussing large business parks in Cecil County – or anywhere on the East Coast – the conversation often comes back to Principio Business Park. With approximately 6 million square feet either built or under construction and the likes of Amazon, GE, Medline, and Restoration Hardware already calling it home, Principio is a major jobs center.

And more good news: Principio is not even close to meeting its potential. Over the next 10 to 20 years, Principio could see an additional 14 million square feet, making it a $2.5 billion development project with 20 million square feet total, and eventually providing more than 8,000 direct jobs for Cecil County.

Amazon has local facilities in Cecil County, Maryland.
Cecil County Office of Economic Development

Driving Force

Cecil County’s economy is blessed by the fact that I-95 and U.S. Route 40 run through the county’s growth corridor. I-95 stretches 1,917 miles from Maine to Florida and accounts for 21 percent of the nation’s road miles, and it connects Cecil County to the largest market in the nation – the Northeastern megalopolis. The interstate is obviously a major trucking route but also serves to connect employees to their jobs every day.

U.S. Route 40 is the industrial spine of Cecil County. It provides direct access to employment centers such as IKEA, Principio Business Park and its companies, Northrop Grumman, WL Gore, Triumph Industrial Park, Terumo Medical and the Upper Chesapeake Corporate Center. Up and down Route 40, one can see infrastructure expansion for Cecil County’s growth corridor. These projects such as new sewer lines, water lines, and fiber all mean progress.

We Will Build

In 2018, Cecil County received a $20 million BUILD grant to develop a new interchange at I-95 and Belvidere Road. This will directly serve Principio Business Park and relieve Maryland Routes 222 and 272 from truck traffic.

This project is expected to be completed in the next several years and will offer Cecil County businesses a distinct advantage over competitors, with connectivity of the county’s key sites to major markets by rail and highway – setting the course for a prosperous future for Cecil County’s economy.

Nonstop Progress

Along with a commitment to infrastructure that serves Cecil County’s growth corridor, Cecil County has created a business and development-friendly environment within the government itself. 

The Office of Economic Development has a wide range of financial incentives to spur growth and offers a fast track permitting process so that key projects receive the best customer service possible. 

The Land Use and Development Services department now has a one-stop-shop environment for developmental services, permitting, and payments. These changes in the government’s dedication to customer service have received great acclaim.

Residents enjoy beautiful shorelines in Cecil County, Maryland.
Walter Dorsett

Pursuit of Happiness

When businesses and individuals look for a place to locate and live, near the top of their priorities list is settling in a region with a good quality of life. New residents have expectations – a safe community with good schools, places to shop and things to do.

Cecil County continues to be a great place to live for the influx of new residents who are coming here for the newly created and future jobs in Cecil County. Today, an important aspect for quality of life is cost of living and affordability, with Cecil County offering the lowest cost for labor and land here in the biggest market in the United States.

Residents can easily access big-city offerings in nearby cultural centers such as Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York, and there is the convenience of nearby international airports and major universities. All this while making your home in Cecil County, which offers scenic landscapes along with safe, small towns.

For foodies, the county offers a wide variety of restaurants along with wineries and breweries. Many of the restaurants use locally grown fresh food from area farmers, since 35 percent of Cecil County is active working farmland. Meanwhile, for devotees of history, Cecil County’s history harkens back to 1674, so architecturally beautiful structures of historical significance are abundant.

Cecil County is a great place for people of all ages. Whether it’s attending a food festival, participating in a triathlon, enjoying a car show or boating along the Upper Chesapeake Bay, the quality of life here can’t be beat.

Enjoy Our Outdoors

Recreational opportunities abound in Cecil County, including countless miles of trails ideal for hiking, biking, and horseback riding, and five rivers, the C&D Canal, and the Upper Chesapeake Bay that serves as havens for watersports activities. Top outdoor destinations include Calvert Regional Park, Elk Neck State Park, Elk Neck State Forest, and Fair Hill Natural Resource Area. Residents of all ages take advantage of these great amenities right in the their back yard.

We Have It All

For businesses, Cecil County is a new industrial epicenter along I-95 and boasts a great location, land availability, major market proximity and a skilled workforce. 

For residents, quality of life advantages in Cecil County include great schools, safe towns, abundant recreational opportunities, and nearby big-city offerings.

We have it all in Cecil County and welcome you to do business here and make it your home. 

Learn more at Cecil County Office of Economic Development.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kevin Litwin is the author of Crazy Lucky Dead and a freelance feature writer with a career spanning more than 20 years.