Now that nearly everyone has been vaccinated and the economy is starting to open up again, I’m excited to see a number of huge projects and other initiatives moving forward in the Frederick region.
For starters, the Greater Washington Partnership recently released its Capital Region Rail Vision, which details how a connected and modernized rail system from Baltimore to Richmond would enhance the region’s economic power and quality of life. They suggested better networking the MARC and VRE trains would allow residents in the D.C. area to traverse to work, home, sporting events and other destination centers in a more improved way. This would be great, and frankly, makes sense. New York City and suburbs in New Jersey, Connecticut and other parts of New York figured this out a long time ago. I know some of our state delegates and other leaders have wanted to enhance MARC service for years. So based on this report, we will finally be able to take the train into our nation’s capital more than just three times at the crack of dawn on weekdays.
In other news, given the new ordinance the Board of Alderman recently approved that is intended to reduce the habitual vacancy of properties within the city, the owner of the Carmack Jays building has decided to turn it into a year-round market where you will be able to purchase fresh food from local farmers, chefs and bakers as well as pieces made by local artists. This property, and the infamous Asiana Restaurant site, have been vacant since my wife and I moved here in 2003. I guess the property owners decided that paying double the tax rate is finally incentive to put a viable tenant in the building.
Also, you may have caught the postmaster general testify in Congress recently about proposed tax-cutting measures. Clearly, we all can attest to the impact his boondoggling has had on our lives over the recent months. But the good news is that one of the actions that will be taken is the relocation of the downtown Frederick Post Office. Local economic development officials have been wanting this to happen for years, in order to better connect the retail assets and amenities that exist on Patrick and Market streets with the businesses in Everedy Square and Shab Row.
Just across the street from that property is the proposed downtown hotel. Finally, the state has decided to actually award and allocate the public funding set aside for this project to move forward instead of playing politics and lip service to this highly desired and much needed economic development project.
If you got this far in my column, you may be questioning if one or more of these are true. In case you forgot, today is April Fool’s Day. So none of them are true, at least as far as I know (or at least not yet). It is not that I don’t want them to be true, however. Maybe if I put them down in writing, they have a higher likelihood of coming true. While I am at it, I also hear the Weinberg Center will be bringing Neil deGrasse Tyson here this fall. OK, that one was just for me.
Shuan Butcher, from Frederick, is a writer, nonprofit professional, amateur photographer, wannabe background actor, event planner and avid traveler.