Plans for a $500 million office building for the Social Security Administration predicted to bring 200 jobs to Frederick County are progressing after the recent sale of an Urbana property.
A letter from the Frederick County Board of Commissioners to the Social Security Administration on Aug. 30 expressed the county’s excitement over the project.
Commissioners’ President Blaine R. Young (R) said the Social Security Administration chose the Urbana Corporate Center in February after looking at 150 sites.
“Once you’re settled on the property, the project is going to be a reality,” he said. “… It kind of goes through that stage, it’s progressing now.”
Rick Boyle, vice president of Natelli Communities in Gaithersburg, developer of the Urbana Corporate Center, said the Social Security Administration bought the land on Aug. 23. Gina Blyther Gilliam, Regional Public Affairs Officer with U.S. General Services Administration, said the land was acquired for $21.2 million.
The new building is planned for use predominantly as a primary data operations center for the administration, along with some office space.The 400,000-square-foot building will incorporate sustainable technologies using energy-efficient heating and cooling systems, on-site renewable energy sources, water conservation, and the use of sustainable materials, according to the county’s letter.
Mark Hinkle with the Social Security Administration’s press office said the current data center is in Baltimore County. Upon completion, the Urbana site will replace the current center.
Construction is expected to begin in early 2012.
“People needs to realize it’s a half-a-billion [dollar] construction project,” Young said. “To kind of put it into perspective, the amount of money in this construction project is just shy of our waste-to-energy facility.”
The building joins Fannie Mae and Banner Life Insurance Company at the Urbana Corporate Center, which is off Md. Route 80.
Laurie M. Boyer, executive director of the Frederick County Office of Economic Development, said there are more opportunities for development in the corporate campus.
County officials had worked closely with Natelli Communities to pitch the Urbana Corporate Center for the government project.
“It’s a great project, and we fought pretty hard to get that project here in Frederick County,” Boyer said. “We’re happy to see the Social Security Administration move forward with acquiring the land that will house the building.”
She said the opportunity creates temporary construction jobs, but also 200 permanent jobs. “We’re excited about that opportunity, and the impact it will have on the local economy,” she said.
Young said the building is a major milestone in economic progress. “Our message is being heard loud and clear — our doors are wide open and welcome to businesses because Frederick County is a great place to live and to work,” he said in Tuesday’s letter.