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M.I.C.E. Venues

 May 31, 2012
Water's Edge Events Center Breaks Ground In Harford County

 As a result of the military Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process and the transformation of Aberdeen Proving Ground, Harford County has seen unprecedented growth in recent years. More than 2,300 new jobs were created in just one year, and the County welcomed more than 80 new defense contractors and eight new professional organizations to the area, according to the Harford County Office of Economic Development. Recognizing the need for more meeting space in the area to accommodate BRAC growth, paired with the growing need for a high-quality destination complex in the County, engineer Jim Foulk and developer Clark Turner have joined forces to develop the Water's Edge Events Center, which is set to break ground on May 31, 2012.

"BRAC has transformed Aberdeen Proving Ground into the region's key workforce center and the state's third largest economic powerhouse," said Jim Foulk, co-owner of the Water's Edge Events Center and president and CEO of Chesapeake Testing. "These economic impacts have provided a strong case for the development of a large meeting and events facility in Harford County, which is exactly why Water's Edge Events Center will be a welcome addition to the community."

In December 2011, Harford County's Office of Economic Development and the Greater Baltimore Committee released a detailed study examining tourism-related economic development opportunities and challenges currently facing the County. The study found the meeting, convention, and social event spaces in Harford County to be quite insufficient, concluding that the lack of adequate meeting space was forcing potential events to seek more suitable facilities elsewhere in the region, primarily in Baltimore and Philadelphia. "The Water's Edge Events Center will finally meet the swelling demand for a state-of-the-art events venue in this area," said Clark Turner.

The highly anticipated events facility is the latest project to come to the Water's Edge Corporate Campus. Construction is scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2013. "An event guest will first be greeted by the timeless architecture that compliments the existing Class A office buildings in the corporate park. Guests will step into a building filled with exquisite interior detailing and eventually work their way toward a natural light--filled banquet room with panoramic views of the Bush River," said Turner. The 31,588 sq. ft. state-of-the-art facility will include a conference center, two banquet halls with water views and outdoor entertaining space, and an executive private dining area. Water's Edge Events Center will welcome area military and government professionals, defense contractors, and businesses for secure business meeting events, and private citizens for weddings and events.

The Water's Edge Events Center is another exciting addition to the Water's Edge Corporate Campus, previously the site of the old Bata Shoe factory, and will further extend the quality of the employee- and community-friendly environment of the campus. As Harford County's newest landmark, it is a welcome addition to the area and a further indication of the continued economic growth of the County.

When complete, facility tours will be provided to the public.

Jim Foulk

With approximately 50 years of defense experience and nearly 40 years of business experience, Jim Foulk has an outstanding record of technical and business accomplishment, philanthropy, and commitment to the safety and effectiveness of the U.S. warfighter. He's a recognized pioneer in integrating the survivability discipline into the combat system development process; a respected small business builder, executive, and industry leader; and a longstanding supporter and promoter of his professional, local, and educational communities. He was founder and CEO of the SURVICE Engineering Company for 30 years and is founder and, for the past five years, president/CEO of Chesapeake Defense Services (CDS), Inc. in Belcamp, Maryland. His visionary thinking has led to the changing of the economic landscape of not only Harford County but the larger region of the tri-state area, including 11 counties that are part of the community that serves Aberdeen Proving Ground.

Clark Turner

For more than three decades, Clark Turner has been quietly creating a body of work that is nothing short of outstanding. His attention to detail and unique architectural designs have twice earned him "Builder of the Year" by the Home Builder Association of Maryland. In 2010, Clark received the Home Builder Association of Maryland's Land Development Council's "Lifetime Achievement Award" in recognition of his years of creating of the special places where people live and work. The opening of the Water's Edge Events Center will be the culmination of more than 10 years of hard work that started with Clark's vision that a neglected old shoe factory along Maryland Route 40 could be an award-winning residential community and corporate campus.