At next week’s Council worksession, the City Council will discuss drafting a letter in support of the University of Maryland’s application to be a Qualified Institution for purposes of the Maryland Regional Institution Strategic Enterprise (RISE) Zone program.

The RISE Zone program was created in 2014 to maximize institutional assets and encourage investment and job creation near universities and other institutions that have a strong history and commitment to economic development and revitalization in their communities.

Qualified Institutions and local governments develop a strategy to use the institutional assets and financial incentives to attract businesses and create jobs within the zone.

The designation of a RISE Zone first requires that an institution submit an application to become a Qualified Institution. The application should show the institution’s intent to make significant financial investments and use its resources and expertise to spur economic development and community revitalization. Once an institution is designated a Qualified Institution, it may submit an application with the local governments to have a RISE Zone designated.

The City expects the University to submit its application to become a Qualified Institution very soon, and expect the State will designate it a Qualified Institution. Staff are working with the
University, the County, and the College Park City-University Partnership on a draft application for a RISE Zone. The application will come to the City Council for discussion and approval.