Accelerating Infill, Redevelopment and Community Revitalization
Reinvest Maryland is a set of strategies to focus and synergize investments, budgets, regulatory authority and resources to support places where people already live. Investment within Maryland’s existing cities, towns and communities through infill, redevelopment and targeted economic development, if well-executed, can have many positive returns:
• Residents benefit from increased access to jobs, shopping, services and amenities and better transportation options as business opportunities grow
• Local businesses benefit from an expanded customer base, easier access to employees and proximity of similar businesses as residential population increases
• Business districts benefit from a better reputation as a place to shop and do business, increased occupancy rates and reduced blight
• Local governments benefit from increased tax revenues, jobs and businesses per acre, increasing the rate of return on investment and resources for infrastructure and services, and the ability to repay bonds more quickly
• The economy benefits from local governments’ improved financial stability, increased entrepreneurship and higher employment rates
• The environment benefits from remediation of contaminated sites, updated stormwater management associated with redevelopment, diminished pollution from driving and septic systems and reduced development pressure on farms and other natural resource-rich lands.
With all of these potential benefits, why wouldn’t we focus our energy on reinvesting in existing communities and creating places that help people, businesses, the economy and the environment thrive? Reinvest Maryland aims to do just that.
Not only is reinvestment economically and environmentally responsible, but there is also a strong – and growing – market for it. Demand for compact, walkable communities is on the rise, fueling a movement of people back into towns, older suburbs and cities. Reinvestment is also compelled by Maryland law and policy, furthering the state’s 12 Planning Visions enacted into law in 2009.
Reinvestment through infill, redevelopment and revitalization can positively impact existing communities, large and small, throughout Maryland.
A small business opening on a main street is just as important to a town in Western Maryland or the Eastern Shore as high-density, mixed-use development next to a metro station is to Montgomery or Prince George’s County. Local needs will influence the look, feel and scale of growth, ranging from the rehabilitation and reuse of a single building to projects encompassing many acres or blocks.
Yet, despite compelling economic and environmental reasons, and the presence of a growing market, reinvestment is often difficult to achieve. Financial, regulatory and policy barriers make redevelopment more challenging than greenfield development. Therefore, accelerating reinvestment in Maryland’s existing communities will not happen without a deliberate effort.