Partners In Economic Progress (PEP) Program

Program Comprehensive Goals

The intent of the Partners in Economic Progress (PEP) Program is to offer incentives to building owners to renovate buildings within the PEP Zone while also assisting with attracting businesses to the renovated building.

For PROPERTY OWNERS to participate in the program, the following eligibility requirements and guidelines apply:

  • The project must be located within the PEP Zone in the City Center.
  • There is a minimum investment for upgrade and improvement of commercial properties in the amount of $250,000, $100,000 for a residential project and $200,000 for a mixed-use project.
  • Calculation of minimum investment requirement shall not include property acquisition costs.
  • Commercial projects are required to participate in the Enterprise Zone Program.
  • Any applicant may not be delinquent on any City or County taxes for the property, or any other financial obligations to the City for the property.
  • The building and all core systems must meet all City of Hagerstown Code requirements.
  • For residential and artist live-work spaces, minimum square footage requirements apply.
  • Prior renovation projects are eligible for the PEP Program if the renovation activities were completed after January 1, 2007.

 Incentives Offered through the PEP Program

  1. Annual Grant - equal to City Property Tax for 5 Years
  2. Utility Benefit - 2 free EDU’s valued at $13,800
  3. Parking Benefits - 1 year free and 50% discount for 4 years
  4. Rent Assistance - provides a maximum total incentive of $24,000 paid to the property owner/landlord for the first two (2) or three (3) years of a business’ operation, with a commitment to occupy the space for a minimum of four (4) years
  5. Waiver of Development Fees - such as building permits, plan review fees, occupancy and zoning fees
  6. Fast Track - expedited review through Planning Department and Historic District Commission
  7. Code Flexibility - using Maryland Building Rehabilitation Code
  8. Consultation on Historic Tax Credit Program - 2 hours of consultation on utilization of historic tax credits paid for by the City

For BUSINESSES interested in lease incentives offered in the program, the Rent Assistance Program is available only in PEP eligible buildings, meaning those properties in which owners have completed the minimum investment and improvements. The following is a list of current PEP eligible buildings and leasing contacts:

  • 34-36 and 38 South Potomac St. – Contact: Justin Anderson, (301) 223-1014,
  • 38 South Potomac St. – Contact: Justin Anderson, (301) 223-1014,
  • 54 South Potomac St. (Masonic Temple) - Contact: Justin Anderson, (301) 223-1014,
  • 138-140 West Washington St (Wareham Building) – Contact: Mike Fitzgerald, (304) 244-3748,
  • 20 West Washington St (The Grand Building) - Contact: Mike Fitzgerald, (304) 244-3748,  
  • 5 Public Square (The Professional Arts Building)– Contact: Mike Fitzgerald, (304) 244-3748, 

The following eligibility requirements and guidelines apply:

  • Subject to zoning approval requirement in the Land Management Code, the following types of businesses are eligible for consideration: Business, professional, cultural, and medical offices; Professional schools; Educational services ; Medical and diagnostic laboratories; Motion picture and sound recording industries; Photo finishing; Radio and television broadcasting; Telecommunications; Visual and performing arts studios and galleries; Light manufacturing; Artist live-work units; Fitness centers.
  • The business must be a new or existing business looking to move into the PEP Zone OR an existing business currently within the PEP Zone looking to expand.
  • The business must plan to occupy upper-floor office space or first-floor, non-storefront commercial space in a PEP approved building. First-floor, storefront space is not eligible.
  • The business must maintain a lease and operate its business at the tenant space for a minimum of four (4) years.
  • The incentive is subject to application by the tenant business and approval by the City.

 Program Requirements

Applicants must comply with the eligibility criteria of the program, particularly including the receipt of building permits for proposed work and implementation of approved development plan and schedule. Any changes to the approved development plan and schedule must be resubmitted for review and approval of the PEP Committee to determine continued eligibility of the project.

If approved, the developer shall be responsible to report the following to the City:

  1. Progress reports every six months on status of project milestones and anticipated changes to the project plans.
  2. Reporting to the City at the completion of construction the square footage per use type of renovated space (e.g. office, retail, and restaurant).
  3. Annual reports to the City on Enterprise Zone Tax Credit amount per year, if applicable.

 Complete program guidelines apply.

Click on the following link for the full PEP Program Guidelines and PEP Zone Map.

Click on the following link for the full PEP Application.