Building Blocks Newsletter, April 2021

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April 2021

 In this issue:

Business Spotlight

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New IHOP Opens in Bowie

Interior and Exterior of Bowie IHOP restaurant

The Business Development Section (BDS) recently assisted the owners of a new International House of Pancakes (IHOP) franchise on Excalibur Road in Bowie to navigate the DPIE permitting and inspection process. The Bowie IHOP opened in February 2021 at the site previously occupied by a Ruby Tuesday restaurant, near the intersection of Route 301. The restaurant is owned and operated by brothers Deepak and Sunil Shrestha. The Bowie location is their seventh IHOP in Maryland and third in Prince George’s County. The Shresthas targeted the Bowie area and conducted an extensive search for a site before settling on the property at 16451 Excalibur Road. The restaurant offers indoor seating for 216 customers, but also offers takeout and curbside pickup. Customers may order online through the Bowie IHOP website.

The franchisees are excited to open an additional site in the County. They said they are very appreciative of the support they received from the DPIE team during the construction and inspection phases of their restaurant project. “We are very pleased to be part of the Bowie local community and serve them,” said Deepak Shrestha. Sunil added, “So far, we have generated employment for approximately 55 people from the local community.”

The Inside Scoop

"Adaptive Reuse" Popular Way to Renovate Aging Structures

An example of adaptive reuse is the transformation of this former residential building into commercial space.

As building structures age, adaptive reuse is a popular trend in community redevelopment that seeks to make use of aging buildings. Adaptive reuse is the process of taking an old building, structure or site that has outlived its original function and repurposing it for a use other than the one for which it was designed. Owners use careful renovation techniques to transform aging and underperforming structures into buildings with practical new uses. Advantages of adaptive reuse include:  revitalizing underutilized buildings in prime locations, such as waterfront sites and places near transportation sources; preserving the attractiveness of landmarks and historic properties through renovation; and helping to reduce the environmental impacts often associated with the demolition of old buildings.

There are numerous examples of adaptive reuse throughout Maryland and Prince George’s County. Old store fronts and shopping centers have been repurposed into churches, former car repair shops are now restaurants, and old barns have been converted into roadside markets and farm stands. Some adaptive reuse renovations may be excluded in Prince George’s County.

If you are interested in adaptive use, remember you should work with design professionals to conduct an analysis to determine whether a structure can be remodeled for a particular use. The analysis should include cost, the historical significance or designation of the structure, community considerations, environmental impact and zoning and building code requirements.

Prior to contacting DPIE for permits, reach out to the Maryland–National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M–NCPPC) by submitting an information request form to determine if the proposed use is allowed at the location. Also, M–NCPPC will tell you about any governing plans for the area. For more information, visit the M–NCPPC website

When you are ready to apply for permits, please review the BDS permitting presentation that may be helpful to you.

Business Development Section: Helpful Hints

Helpful Hints

Beware of Commercial Vehicle Code Violations

Most commercial vehicles should not be parked in residential communities unless the vehicle’s operator is performing work on a property. Vehicles found in violation of the code may be ticketed or towed.

Submitting Plans via ePlan

DPIE continues to offer monthly ePlan Virtual Customer Training. However, customers who are unable to attend the virtual training may view the ePlan Training video for step-by-step instructions.

What's Happening?

Header with the word EVENTS over calendar, clock, percent sign, and office icons

Business Development Section Event

Permitting and Liquor Licensing Webinar flyer showing outdoor restaurant seating


The BDS hosted a webinar on March 18, 2021, to guide applicants through the process of obtaining permits and liquor licenses and to answer questions from business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs.

To view the webinar, click on the Permitting and Liquor Licensing Presentation.

To view other BDS webinars, visit DPIE’s PowerPoint Presentations page on our website. In addition to the PowerPoints, there is a list of YouTube videos featuring helpful overviews to many of DPIE's processes.

Funding Opportunities

Maryland Financial Incentives for Businesses

A variety of financial programs are available from the State, including grants, loans and other funds for job creation, agriculture, small businesses and veteran-owned businesses. For more information, visit the Maryland Financial Incentives for Businesses website.

Maryland Financial Incentives for Business
Economic Development Incentive (EDI) Fund, words on green background

Economic Development Incentive (EDI) Fund

The Prince George’s County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) sponsors an Economic Development Incentive (EDI) Fund for expansion of the County’s commercial tax base, job retention and attraction, support for small and local businesses, promotion of development and redevelopment opportunities, as well as transit-oriented development. For more information, visit the Economic Development Corporation website.

PFC Black Chamber Open Door Fund

The People for Change Coalition (PFC) Black Chamber has announced the COVID-19 Open-Door Fund, which provides grants to small businesses in Prince George’s County.  The fund provides between $1,000 to $3,000 on a rolling basis to businesses that have been established since 2019.  Click the Open Door Fund link for details.

People for Change Coalition, words with hands in air
digital chips with word Technology in white

Rural and Underserved Business Recovery from Impact of COVID-19 (RUBRIC)

The RUBRIC program provides economic relief to rural and economically-disadvantaged businesses. The program focuses on recently-opened tech companies that have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information, click State Emergency Funding Administered by TEDCO.

Business Community News

DPIE's Free ePlan Training for September adEconomic Development Corporation ad for how COVID-19 affects small businesses videoSmall Business Development Center - Maryland adPrince George's County Chamber of Commerce August meetings

Community Feedback

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contact us

County, Prince George's Proud and DPIE logos, plus DPIE address, phone and email