The historic Birely Tannery building downtown — a part of the property slated to be turned into a hotel and conference center — has caught the attention of the city’s code enforcement office for property maintenance violations.
The building at 212 E. Patrick St. is slated for sale to Plamondon Hospitality Partners for the construction of the planned downtown hotel and conference center. The vacant building is owned by members of the Randall family, some of whom also own the parent company of The Frederick News-Post.
In response to concerns from county resident Ned Bond — an anti-blight activist who frequently takes photos and video of downtown buildings and gives them to the city when he thinks owners are falling short on maintenance — city code enforcement officers in March checked out the property and confirmed a set of violations. Brittany Parks, the city’s acting division manager for code enforcement, said the owner, 200 E. Patrick Street, LLC, was issued a notice of violation with steps it needed to take to gain compliance.
Will Randall, the general manager of 200 E. Patrick Street, LLC, wrote Tuesday in an email that the family is addressing the complaints.
“Our contractor and property manager met just this past weekend with representatives of the city and are coming up with a plan to address the violations as cost effectively as possible,” Randall wrote. A crew was spotted working on the tannery building on Good Friday.
Parks said Monday that she believes members of the Randall family have promptly addressed every code violation that has been issued at the tannery site in the past several years.
According to city documents, the code complaints at the Birely Tannery building issued on March 20 and 27 include:
- Missing, damaged and improperly boarded-up windows.
- Missing and damaged lintels.
- Missing or damaged and rotting soffits, roof trim and fascia.
- Missing drainpipe and defective gutters.
- Chipped or missing paint.
Collectively, the code enforcement office expressed concerns that these maintenance problems could lead to further water damage to the building.
In the past year, two other notices of violation were issued to the tannery owners. Repairs were made, and the cases closed.
The tannery building was initially set for demolition in the plans for the hotel and conference center and may still be torn down. The city’s Historic Preservation Commission will have the final say on any demolition order.
Officials with the Maryland Historical Trust announced in February that the tannery building and archaeological site at East Patrick and Carroll streets belong on the National Register of Historic Places. The designation means that historic elements of the site must be preserved through any future development, but that does not determine whether the building will or won’t be demolished.
The Birely Tannery was established in 1830 and operated until 1952. The current building was constructed in 1909 after a fire.