The Armory Marketplace, located directly behind the Armory on Main Street, is an L-shaped bank of garages which the Town of Bel Air has rehabilitated into business incubator suites. The suites are available for new and emerging businesses that have the end goal of moving to a downtown Bel Air storefront in mind. Business incubators offer an advantage to an entrepreneur starting out as they allow a storefront opportunity with a reduced rate lease while the business owner gains an understanding of their demand level and strengthens their financial standing.
Initial planning for the project began in 2012 and the project has been underway since that time including developing the concept, receiving approval from Maryland Historical Trust and several phases of interior and exterior construction work. With the help of grant funding from the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, Community Legacy Program, build-out of three of the five available suites has been completed and two of the suites are currently occupied.
Harford Artists’ Association, a non-profit co-op with all artwork created by local Harford County residents, supports Harford Artists Gallery which is located in the largest of the suites and serves as a permanent tenant anchoring the north end of the Arts and Entertainment District. The gallery hosts bi-monthly exhibits which feature a wide selection of original artwork ranging from oils, watercolor, photography, pottery, glasswork, gourds, jewelry, tiles and scarves to name just a few. In addition, the gallery at Armory Marketplace also offers workshops for association members as well as the community. Additional information can be found on their website at www.artinharford.org.
Another suite is occupied by Love Evolution Yoga which is a hot yoga studio that welcomes everyone regardless of fitness level or yoga experience. They offer three to five classes each day, including hot yoga as well as warm, gentle classes. The staff will also work with you to schedule workshops and retreats. More information about their offerings, as well as special promotions for those new to Love Evolution Yoga, can be found on their website at www.lovevolutionyoga.com.
The Town of Bel Air is currently accepting applications from business owners interested in getting their start in Armory Marketplace. Interested applicants may call the Town of Bel Air Department of Economic Development at 410-838-0584 for more information about the applicant process.