Apparently, Frederick is a great place to retire and one of the most scenic East Coast cities.
I found that out this week not through my own accord, but via two publications — Where to Retire magazine and an Expedia travel blog — which gave our fair city some brag worthy designations.
According to a news release from Where to Retire, Frederick is part of a feature titled “8 Delightful Downtown Cities,” slated for the upcoming March/April 2017 issue.
According to the release, Editor Annette Fuller chose Frederick because of its “energized, bustling heart.”
“The growing Main Street movement has spurred hundreds of cities across the country to preserve, renovate and reinvigorate their central hubs,” Fuller said in the release. “They’ve become retro chic gathering spots, with a host of independent shops and restaurants that help fashion the locale’s personality. These eight featured cities, including Frederick, have won the Great American Main Street Award in past years, and they continue to attract new residents with their vibrant downtowns.”
Where to Retire magazine is a 25-year-old magazine that publishes six times a year. It is geared toward helping people with retirement relocation decisions.
Frederick also earned a spot on Expedia’s list of “21 of the most scenic East Coast cities.”
Underneath a beautiful, picturesque shot of a section of Baker Park, the online blog recognizes Frederick for its wineries and Civil War battlegrounds, and “perfectly manicured rows of green vineyards on the Frederick Wine Trail.” It also points out its location along the Mason Dixon Line and its bike heritage tours from the C&O Canal to rural country roads.
The list also recognizes the state capital among the 20 other scenic locations, along with spots in Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, North Carolina, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont and Virginia.
An historic designation
In downtown hotel and conference center news, the Maryland Historic Trust has confirmed the historic significance of not only the Frederick railroad building but also the Birely Tannery site.
The tannery site, at the southeast corner of East Patrick and Carroll streets, is part of the property where a downtown hotel and conference center is planned. A news release issued Friday from the city said the MHT has determined the site contains significant archeological elements that the players looking to develop the hotel can collaborate to preserve as the project goes forward.
Patti Mullins, the city’s public information coordinator, said the MHT designation is necessary to obtain the requested state funding for the project. However, she said the hotel plans are still relatively rough and officials have not yet determined the Birely Tannery’s role, if any, in the development.
The planned 207-room Marriott and 24,000-square-foot conference center is slated right now to come to fruition with public and private dollars. Plamondon Hospitality Partners is expected to pay $53 million for the hotel portion of the project.
The remaining $31 million slated to fund construction of the conference center was initially set to come from the Frederick Board of Aldermen, Frederick County Council, state Legislature, the Maryland Economic Development Corp., and the Maryland Stadium Authority. However, some of the funding is up in the air right now, including the state’s portion.
The proposed hotel and conference center property at 200 and 212 E. Patrick St. is owned by a business entity formed by members of the Randall family. The Randall family also owns the parent company of The Frederick News-Post.
on 20 W. Fourth
Members of the city’s Historic Preservation Commission officially signed off Thursday on plans to rehabilitate the dilapidated downtown Frederick townhouse at 20 W. Fourth St.
Susan Murphy, a representative of prospective property owner Murphy Properties, presented plans to rehab the building for the second time at Thursday’s public hearing. She presented the first set of plans at a Jan. 26 workshop and initiated some minor tweaks based on commissioners’ comments before presenting the plans again Thursday.
Murphy Properties offered to pay $20,000 for the 20 W. Fourth St. property, with plans to invest $193,000 in a nine-month renovation project.
Decades of vacancy require the installation of basic utilities such as plumbing, electricity, and heating and cooling. The HPC also authorized demolition of the rear third of the building, which is required through the renovation because of its state of disrepair.
The project is well on its way now, despite an ongoing appeal that former property owner Allan Pickett has filed. The open case is seemingly the last in a series of appeals Pickett spearheaded regarding ownership rights that spanned roughly two decades. The latest appeal, filed after Pickett’s ownership rights were stripped, challenges the demolition order. However, because Pickett did not file a stay along with the appeal, Assistant City Attorney Scott Waxter said the rehabilitation can move forward as the case awaits a resolution.