See Route 1, page 4
Route 1 Continues to See
For more than a decade, the calls for
redevelopment have echoed throughout
the Route 1 Corridor. Plans have emerged,
ideas have been tried and slow, methodical
progress has been made.
But what has remained consistent
through all this process is that Route 1
continues to be a tough nut to crack.
Like other projects in the county, the
Route 1 Corridor faces a special set of issues that are uniquely its own. Intersecting
more than 11 miles of the county, its lack
of a central location, combined with its
different personalities and the needs of
each section, result in unique challenges.
In other words, what ends up being the
right solution for one part of the Corridor
often does not work with another part,
making it impossible to apply a “one size
fits all” answer to its overall needs.
However, during the past five years
there have been new projects springing up
along the eastern edge of the county. Led
by the private sector, the public sector and
the State Highway Administration, change
is slowing occurring along the Corridor.
Large communities like Howard
Square and Blue Stream have created
vibrant and desirable residential communities and brought residents to Route 1.
Additional residential projects are in the
plan for years to come, including a 1,000-
unit transit oriented development (TOD)
project at the Laurel Park MARC station.
There also has been an increase in the
private sector investment along Route 1.
Many new commercial buildings have
been constructed or are under construction,
especially those catering to the rapidly
expanding food distribution industry.
This will bring thousands of new jobs and
millions of dollars in investment.
In addition, it was recently announced
that BTS Bioenergy had selected two potential locations along Route 1 to construct
state-of-the-art biodigestion facilities to
recycle food waste, with the company
investing $40 million to construct the
And last year, it was announced that
Freshly would locate its new east coast
facility in the former Coastal Sunbelt location, bringing 500 new jobs and private
investment to the region; that building was
only available because of Coastal Sunbelt’s
decision to remain in the county and construct its 330,000-square-foot building
that will employ 1,500 people. It opened
Additionally, there has been increased
investment from retail and restaurants
opening along the route. In 2014, Jailbreak
Brewing Co. opened its doors and has since
expanded several times; in Jessup, CVS
completed construction on its building,
while up the road the announcement was
made that Mutiny Pirate Bar selected Troy
Hill Drive for a new location.
Also, the Guinness Tap Room selected
a location directly north of the county line
to build its first tap room in the U.S. since
The Howard County government has
also played a role in bringing new amenities and services to the Corridor during
the last five years. At 101 acres, Troy Hill
Park became the county’s eighth regional
park, offering residents access to new athletic fields and a playground right near the
intersection of routes 1 and 100. In 2013,
the county opened the doors of Duckett’s
Lane Elementary, in Elkridge; and in the
nearby community of Oxford Square, the
county also completed the construction
BTS Bioenergy soon will be building a biodigestion facility on Route 1.
of the Thomas Viaduct Middle School,
in 2014, and plans to open Elementary
School No. 42 next door in August 2018,
both of which service the residents of the
Route 1 Corridor.
In 2013, the county relocated the Savage Volunteer Fire Co. into a new location
on Route 1, and in 2018, it will open the
new Elkridge Volunteer Fire Station. Construction continues as well at the Elkridge
Branch Library and 50-Plus Center, which
will open in 2018.
Even as new developments are being
made, the key challenge continues to be
striking a balance between the area’s industrial base and residential base. Route