Leggett Launches “Move” Program to Fill Vacancies
Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett today announced the latest County initiative to continue support for the County’s innovation economy. The MOVE (Make Office Vacancies Extinct) Program is designed to attract life sciences, IT, cybersecurity and green technology businesses to Montgomery County. These are the technology-based sectors critical to the County’s economic future.
“MOVE is an innovative program targeted at attracting emerging technology companies to the County. Our local real estate sector has told us they believe it will make a difference and help them fill existing, vacant office space throughout the County,” said County Executive Ike Leggett.
The program will reduce Class A and B office vacancies by offering a $4 per square foot rent assistance for year one on new commercial leases of at least three years and at least 2,000 square feet to companies that are newly formed in or relocate to the County.
The innovative MOVE program came out of engagement by the Montgomery County Department of Economic Development (DED) with the local real estate sector over the past year. It is a creative and proactive way to attract innovative businesses to the County while reducing Class A and B office vacancies.
“This rent subsidy will greatly enhance Montgomery County’s reputation as a pro-business environment,” said Scott C. Randolph, Senior Vice President, TRANSWESTERN. “Office rents are typically one of the highest expenses on a company’s financial statement and the proposed subsidy represents a significant reduction in start-up and relocation expenses. The workplace has now become both a hiring and retention tool for employers. As these employers seek to attract the best and brightest employees while also reigning in real estate costs, the proposed subsidy will create a competitive advantage for Montgomery County, not only as a place to work, but also to live.”
The program is capped at 10,000 square feet or $40,000 per company. New company attraction over 10,000 square feet is managed through the County’s Economic Development Fund (EDF) that awards grants, loans and/or tax credits based on the projected impact of the business. The MOVE program is effective immediately. DED will administer the program using initial funding from its existing FY14 budget.
“We project that every $250,000 in rent abatements through the MOVE program will yield about 15 new business formations or attractions in the County, with an estimated 250 to 320 new jobs,” said DED Director Steve Silverman.