May 22, 2019

Torti Gallas Chosen to Create Airport Plan

Torti Gallas

Maryland-based Torti Gallas + Partners (TG+P) has been chosen to design the Innovation District Master Plan for the St. Mary’s County Regional Airport and properties in the surrounding areas. Torti Gallas is recognized around the world as a leader in creating vibrant, mixed-use places that foster innovation.

“Real estate market trends are changing the way we do business. As a result, technology centers are re-positioning themselves for the next 50 years to be competitive, attract the best and brightest, and facilitate collaboration and a cross pollination of ideas leading to increased innovation. We are excited to work with the St. Mary’s partners to help create an Innovation District Master Plan that helps unlock the full potential of existing key assets and to increase its competitiveness for talent,” said Erik Aulestia, partner at Torti Gallas + Partners, in a press release distributed by St. Mary’s County government.

The area near the St. Mary’s County Regional Airport has undergone a transformation in recent years because of increased investment and interest by the private sector, the state of Maryland, the US Navy, the Federal Aviation Administration, and St. Mary’s County government.

“St. Mary’s County Regional Airport is not only the state’s fastest-growing general aviation airport, it’s also become the place where aviation and technology companies have clustered. Businesses and higher education want to be there,” said Ken Reed of S. Hunt Aero, a real estate development company that has invested heavily in the airport in recent years.

Throughout its process, TG+P will offer multiple stakeholder and community meetings to obtain data and input from property owners, developers, business owners, residents, and academic institutions. The last deliverable will be a master plan and a shared vision to help the county and its partners connect the Innovation District components, create gathering places, and plan for future economic growth.

The Innovation District designation will coordinate stakeholder visions for the area, ensuring multimodal transportation options, plus suggestions for gathering places, and future manufacturing and office buildings. The designation also will help the region showcase itself as a center of innovation, especially in the unmanned and autonomy industries, and compete with more urban areas.

“The momentum at the airport has been the result of a public-private partnership,” said Chris Kaselemis, director of the Department of Economic Development. “We envision this next step to create a vision amongst property owners, residents, our higher education institutions and others. At the end of the day, we want different types of people and their ideas to converge because that’s how you build even more innovation.”

The St. Mary’s Department of Economic Development, working with the County’s Land Use and Growth Management Department and Department of Public Work and Transportation, partnered with the Calvert-St. Mary’s Metropolitan Planning Organization to issue a request for proposal to create a vision and master plan for the Innovation District.

An Innovation District is a geographic area in which anchor institutions and companies cluster and connect with small firms, business incubators, accelerators, and start-up businesses. The districts are well defined, and offer mixed use office, housing, and retail. The idea is to create an Innovation District encompassing targeted businesses, lab-to-marketplace evolution opportunities, and easy multi-mode transportation connections to sites within the community. The Innovation District area also requires attention to transportation by foot, bike, and car.

 

For more about Lexington Park, visit the St. Mary’s County Community Development Corporation’s Leader member page.

St. Mary’s County Community Development Corporation

46940 South Shangri-La Drive, Suite 7

Lexington Park, MD 20653

301-863-7700

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