The Calvert County Department of Economic Development unveiled a new Web site Tuesday that will allow businesses to search for available property in the county and filter potential destinations based on various criteria.
The site, www.CalvertProspector.com, allows users to search property for sale or lease and then view important information, including the property's price, square footage, zoning classification and nearby businesses and demographics.
The program was designed by GIS Planning Inc., a California-based company that produces similar sites for municipalities, government agencies, businesses and community organizations across the country.
Danita Boonchaisri, a marketing and communications specialist in the department, first heard of the concept at an international development conference. The department sent information to GIS Planning, which then adapted its application, called ZoomProspector, to the county.
"I hope people who are looking for new properties find it useful so that they can do a good comparison of areas they are considering. They can compare apples to apples," Boonchaisri said. "Much of what we do today is Internet based, Internet driven, and I just think it's the way to go."
Before Tuesday, businesses interested in the area had to comb multiple sources for information.
Now, they can find it all in one spot online.
Start-up, expanding or relocating businesses can determine the community and characteristics they want in a location, and the program will filter available properties and identify the closest matches.
"We've gotten feedback from the real estate community. They think it's a pretty neat tool because it provides so much information on the community they're trying to reach with their properties. This just allows them so much more information — they can put photos in there, they can list utilities," Boonchaisri said. "The backbone of this whole program is it allows searchers to compare a property to other properties. None of that was available before."
The program's construction is almost complete, although the department does want to add one more feature — an overlay zoning map that will let users see how a property and those neighboring it are zoned, Boonchaisri said.
GIS Planning will provide regular updates on county demographics and business information.
The site will also become more useful in the coming weeks, as word spreads and more properties are listed.
Those looking to sell or lease property should call the site's staff at 410-535-4583, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.