Thursday’s Board of Aldermen public hearing will include a couple of interesting items regarding the proposed downtown hotel and conference center.
Under the grant approvals, which are usually approved standardly with little to no discussion, the aldermen are set to vote on a total of $5 million in state grant funds for the project. The request comes in the form of two Maryland Capital Projects Grant agreements, one for $1 million and one for $4 million.
Richard Griffin, the city’s director of economic development, said requests are for legal agreements between the city and the State of Maryland for money the General Assembly approved during the last legislative session.
The money can be used for the acquisition, planning, design, construction, repair, renovation and reconstruction of the hotel and conference center planned for 200-212 East Patrick St.
The board’s approval is one of several steps needed to use the money.
According to information included with the meeting agenda, the funds also need approval from the Maryland Board of Public Works, Mayor and Board of Aldermen’s approval of a final master development and funding agreement(s) and leases between the city and and developers Plamondon Hospitality Partners, approval of a Memorandum of Agreement from the Maryland Historical Trust, and development plan approvals from the city’s Historic Preservation Commission, Planning Commission, and permits department.
As the grant money request moves toward final state approval, the Historic Preservation Commission is set to have its first public meeting on the development plans on July 13.
The city, Plamondon Hospitality and Randall Family LLC, which owns two of the buildings currently on the site, jointly filed four applications June 15 regarding the project, The applications, which the commission will address July 15, include a request to demolish of the back portion of the former Frederick News-Post building at the site, renovation plans for the remaining portion of the building, a request to demolish the Historic Birely Tannery building at the site, and plans detailing construction of the proposed hotel.
Several historic preservation advocates have come to the commission meetings in the past couple of months voicing opposition to the demolition of the Tannery.
Officials revealed the design for the roughly $80 million project in May. Plans include a four-floor, 180-room hotel, 20,000 square-foot conference center and a 160-space underground parking facility.
The city, Frederick County and the state are partnering with Plamondon to fund the project. The public entities are set to chip in a total of about $31 million in public dollars, while Plamondon is set to contribute the remainder.
Asiana paint dilemma postponed to July HPC meeting
Unauthorized paint on the side of the old Asiana restaurant building will stay there at least another few weeks after members of the city’s Historic Preservation Commission postponed a hearing to remove it last week.
Commissioners said the property owner did not post a public notice for the hearing, which is required for them to hear the case, and moved it to the next meeting on July 13.
Duk Hee Ro, the owner of the notoriously blighted building at 123-125 N. Market St., came to a commission meeting in April asking for post-work approval for painting over replaced brick on the side of the building. Ro did not obtain approval from the Historic Preservation Commission before completing the work, which was a requirement because the building is in the Frederick Town Historic District and subject to strict historic preservation guidelines.
The commissioners denied the request and told Ro she had to remove the paint, but before doing so, she had to come back before them with a plan to ensure the work was done properly and follows historic guidelines. That was the request that was supposed to be heard Thursday.
However, because of the filature to post the notice, the hearing was postponed. Now, it is on the same agenda as the applications for the downtown hotel and conference center, which will likely attract a crowd given the high-profile nature of the project.
Follow Mallory Panuska on Twitter: @MalloryPanuska.