The head of a potential partner for a downtown Frederick hotel and conference center said on Tuesday that the project as it is does not appear viable, and urged supporters to go back to the drawing board.
The board of Maryland Economic Development Corp., or MEDCO, is one of five parties that was due to sign an agreement that detailed financing plans and a schedule for the project.
MEDCO’s board previously tabled a vote on the agreement until it received more information.
Some members of Frederick County’s delegation to the General Assembly said last week that they would not support state funding for the project. With that announcement, it appears the proposal will need to be reworked, Bob Brennan, MEDCO’s executive director, said on Tuesday.
“It’s looking right now that this project is dead,” Brennan said in an interview, referring to how the current proposal is structured.
MEDCO is a state entity that borrows money and issues bonds to help state and local economic development agencies and private companies with projects that may benefit the public.
Brennan added that the hotel and conference center, a roughly $84 million project, would be “very good” for the city.
“What I’m saying is the current structure doesn’t appear to be viable, so let’s go back to the drawing board and figure out how to get a hotel, [conference] center for the city of Frederick,” he said.
The agreement — a memorandum of understanding — has already cleared the Frederick County Council and the city Board of Aldermen, but was rejected by another key partner, the Maryland Stadium Authority.
Frederick Mayor Randy McClement responded to a request for comment with an emailed response from the city’s spokeswoman, Patti Mullins.
“We haven’t received any official communication from MEDCO that they’ve taken any action, and the city continues to move forward on this project,” the statement from McClement reads.
The fifth and final party in the agreement is Plamondon Hospitality Partners, which is expected to pay $53 million for the hotel.
Pete Plamondon Jr., co-president of Plamondon Hospitality Partners, said in an interview that he was not at all “disheartened” or “disillusioned” by Brennan’s comments, saying MEDCO’s position was clear when its board tabled the vote on the memorandum.
“We’re going to remain focused and see the project to fruition,” he said. “Our path remains going forward with the state.”
The hotel and conference center property is proposed at 200 and 212 E. Patrick St. The property is owned by a business entity formed by members of the Randall family, who owns the parent company of The Frederick News-Post.