Frederick annexes land for industrial use

By Chad Trovinger/Graphic designer

FREDERICK, Md. — One of the largest contiguous industrial-zoned properties in the region is on the market.

The city of Frederick has annexed 327 acres of former farmland, known as the Renn Farm, and rezoned it M-1 for light industrial use. The property has water and sewer service and access to Interstate 70 and U.S. 15. It is near the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research, an Aldi distribution center and the Riverside Corporate Park.

“Having available zoned land with appropriate infrastructure is critical to attracting quality employers and investment,” said Richard Griffin, director of the city’s Department of Economic Development.

Helen Propheter, director of the Frederick County Office of Economic Development, said the availability of industrial zoned land is imperative to the county’s overall business development.

Jim Mackintosh, co-owner of Mackintosh Realtors, represents the property owners.

“They would like to sell it in bulk, but they’re open to anything right now,” he said.

“They used to own several, several farms,” he said, but those properties have been sold. “So this is the last one.”

According to Mackintosh, the land has a total potential of 3 million square feet for build-out. It is among the closest such industrial properties to Washington, D.C., that is on the market.

“There are small industrial zoned properties, owned by developers, that can be leased (in Frederick County),” he said in a news release. “There are also some smaller industrial properties that can be purchased. But the Renn Farm is by far the largest industrial zoned parcel available for purchase in Frederick County.”

Having water and sewer service is also important for property of that size, he said.

“You just can’t build a big warehouse on a well and holding tanks,” he said.

The M-1 zoning allows for a range of uses, Chris Smariga, president and CEO of Harris Smariga, said in the news release. The firm is a long-time planning, engineering and surveying company based in Frederick.

“Although M-1 is considered industrial, it is not heavy industrial,” he said. “M-1 can include manufacturing, storage, office, and some ancillary type businesses. Many businesses conform to this kind of zoning.”

In addition, the property has a 60-acre parcel that will retain its agricultural zoning. Mackintosh said he hopes uses on the property might be expanded to include agricultural-related businesses such as wineries, distilleries, animal petting farms and day camps.