The castle at PenMar
The PenMar Development Corporation was established as a public instrumentality of the State in May 1997 (Chapter 737, Acts of 1997). Its purpose is to oversee the development for civilian uses of Fort Ritchie, a U.S. Army base which closed in 1998. A military post located in the northeastern corner of Washington County, Maryland (near the Pennsylvania border), the Fort is being redeveloped by the PenMar Development Corporation as a corporate conference and training center. Plans include some residential development as well.
Fort Ritchie began in 1926 as a brigade training area for the Maryland National Guard. Named to honor Governor Albert C. Ritchie, Camp Ritchie was activated in June 1942 as a Military Intelligence Training Center of the U.S. War Department. From 1945 to 1948, the post again was used as a training station for the Maryland National Guard. To support the Alternate Joint Communications Center in Pennsylvania, the U.S. Army acquired the Fort in 1948. Later, headquarters for the Communications Command Continental United States of the U.S. Army transferred from Alexandria, Virginia, to Fort Ritchie in 1971. The Fort ceased operating as a military installation on September 30, 1998.
On October 4, 2006, the U.S. Army transferred ownership of Fort Richie to the PenMar Development Corporation. The following day, the Corporation sold it to Corporate Office Properties Trust for mixed-use development. The first building (a multipurpose community center) in the redevelopment project opened in September 2008, and, thereafter, the Corporation continued to monitor development of the site. Effective July 24, 2012, however, the Corporation regained ownership of the site, which holds 591 acres of land, including on-site buildings, a water system, and a community center.
The Corporation's Board of Directors consists of eighteen members. Fifteen are appointed by the Board of County Commissioners of Washington County, Maryland. Three serve ex officio (Code Economic Development Article, secs. 11-501 through 11-520).
Fast Fact #1
Existing parcels and structures perfect for countless types of industries including:
- Government offices
- Federal government contractors
- Electronic commerce
Fast Fact #2
Extensive and reliable infrastructure consists of electric, water, sewer, propane gas, advanced telecommunications, a direct on-site roadway system and convenient access to Hagerstown Regional Airport.