Well, you can finally live the life of luxury downtown, but it’ll cost you.

Kemp Hall, at the corner of Church and Market Streets, officially opened last week and residents have already moved in.

In fact, all 18 units have been rented out, and there’s a wait list.

I had the chance to tour the units and see the beautiful, brand new living spaces and I’m here to tell you all about it.

The units facing Church Street all have about nine-foot windows, and they’re the original windows. Each residence has 14 or 16-foot ceilings as well.

While most have the original flooring, in some spaces it couldn’t be saved so those lofts have new flooring. The kitchens boast white quartzite countertops, dark cabinets and stainless steel appliances.

Those lucky enough to have a patio have a somewhat spacious one overlooking a back alleyway... perfect for privacy.

Because of the layout, each studio or apartment is designed differently which gives some studios the look of a one bedroom. While some studios look like your typical studio—one big open space—others have the effect of a one bedroom with a hallway to walk down giving the illusion that you’re walking into another room. The room, your bedroom, just lacks a door.

And besides the layout, each unit is uniquely different. One has a Juliet balcony, one has an original fireplace, some have lots of natural light, some don’t, one has seven windows facing Church Street.

Each has a full washer and dryer, some have stand-up showers, some have bathtubs, some have kitchen islands and some don’t.

It’s modern living in an historic building. They’re shiny and new and pretty. But one thing they’re not, is affordable.

The cheapest studio, which is 565 to 640 square feet, ranges from $1,245 to $1,345. Depending on the size, 810 to 1100 square feet or with a porch, lofts will cost you $1,725 up to $2,125.

One argument I heard is if you share the loft with, say, a spouse than the cost might not sting as much. But the lofts are an open floor plan. If I’m fighting with my boyfriend and want to retreat to a separate space in the home than I’m hiding in the bathroom, that’s the only room with a door.

Yes water, sewer and trash are included and the resident does get a parking permit, but that still doesn’t help to make downtown Frederick living affordable.

Wasn’t that the goal?

I’m not taking away the fact that they’re beautiful and that living in such an historic building is very cool. I’m jealous I’m not living there.

But it seems like they’re catering to a certain demographic...those with deep pockets.

I’d love to see more units like these downtown, preferably affordable ones please.

Follow CJ Fairfield on Twitter @FairfieldCj

(17) comments


sure there is afforadable living in Frederick - just not in a place you would want to live


There is plenty of "affordable housing" in Frederick County, you just can't live in a revitalized, modern apartment in a prime location if you can't afford it. Bravo to those who renovated the space and have the waiting list to prove it was a good investment. I don't live in downtown DC because I can't afford it. Why should anyone think they can live in downtown Frederick if they can't afford it. It's all relative.



Business Owner

Based on the 2018 census data, the median household income in the tract for the property is $102,723 per year. If you assume housing expense at 34% of gross income, the range of supporting annual incomes range from $44,000 to $75,000. This is 43% and 73% of the median incomes. Seems affordable to me.


@ business, it seems affordable until you retire and wish to age in place ...

Business Owner

Did you live in this building and get displaced?


It's probably worth noting that the day before the Kemp Hall ribbon cutting, Interfaith Housing Alliance also held a ribbon cutting - which the FNP didn't cover - at their 520 N. Market project: 53 units of downtown housing reserved for households making between 30-50% of area median income.


They covered it last week https://www.fredericknewspost.com/news/economy_and_business/real_estate_and_development/new-affordable-north-market-street-apartments-open/article_c447492a-447f-5c8e-a0a8-9824b40cd099.html




Welcome to the new Montgomery County!!


Why is this even news?? The builders obviously did something right if there is a waiting list to get in. Don't be sour because you can afford it.


How bad is this article. Affordable housing? If you want affordable housing move to route 40 or Hagerstown. Then again what is considered affordable housing. There are plenty of group homes/section 8 in downtown Frederick in prime locations. CJ my suggestion is to write stories about your subject matter as your OpEd skills have no merit.


CJ. It is financially unrealistic to think that one can spend $1 million to renovate a building downtown for affordable housing. In addition it is unrealistic to think that affordable housing should be located in prime location. Maybe the two empty banks at Square Corner should become affordable housing?


It's nice someone wants to help revitalize the downtown buildings. Wish the bladed ones could be revived. However, we have enough "luxury" living in Frederick. Everywhere you turn there are high rates and housing prices. It's become a race to see who can become the richest on the backs of residents.


"richest on the back of residents"? The owner invested in his building, they are leased up - no one is harmed - in fact the entire downtown is helped by having more residents downtown. No one forced the residents to move there - free market - good for Mr. Ausherman. And the article would have been less biased by mentioning the project across from the Junior Engine Company on Market - which I believe is designed to be affordable.


How is it they can screw up the location in the picture captions ("East School"?) yet get it right in the article?


CJ are you a home owner ? Do you not take care of the housing bills in your family ? 1300 rent is good price for new luxury downtown living

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