Original Published May 22, 2017
Frederick News-Post

By Mallory Panuska mpanuska@newspost.com

With the prospect of a downtown Frederick hotel and conference center back in the news with the reveal of its first 3-D design model and new visual images Thursday, it is the perfect time for several nearby business representatives to weigh in on the project.

And according to those polled Friday, the project gets a thumbs up from its neighbors.

The businesses along Carroll Creek Way are within a short walking distance of the proposed hotel and conference center planned for 200 and 212 E. Patrick St.

Sweeties Ice Cream and Frozen Yogurt is one of those businesses.

Manager Nicole Endara said Friday the hotel would likely bring more business to the seasonal shop.

“I feel like it would bring business and more people,” she said.

John McCain, general manager of The Wine Kitchen next door, had similar thoughts.

“I think a hotel would be great for downtown,” he said. “Certainly the location would be great for Carroll Creek and the local businesses on it.”

He added that it would likely boost growth and tourism to the area not only with more guests staying downtown but by attracting more development.

“It would be great for the local economy,” he said.

At Windy City Red Hots on the corner of Carroll Creek Way toward East Street, owner Angel Miranda said he believes a nearby hotel and conference center would increase foot traffic to his business. The Chicago-style hot dog eatery is fairly new to the area after a January grand opening and relies significantly on foot traffic to bring people in.

“It definitely will be helpful. It should bring a lot of people down here,” Miranda said.

The new design for the planned roughly $80 million hotel and conference center includes is one floor shorter and includes fewer rooms than the most recent former rendering. It also had a plan for about 60 more parking spaces than the last rendering.

The project is planned to come to fruition through a public-private partnership with public money from the city county, state and private funds from developers Plamondon Hospitality Partners.

Like the nearby business owners, city and county officials, developers and architects expect it will boost the local economy by bringing new life to an area of downtown that has not seen much activity in years.

An historic trolley building, which housed Frederick News-Post operations from 1968 to the mid-2000s, is set to be rehabilitated into a retail area complete with a possible feature resistant and shops.

The historic Birely Tannery building at the rear of the property is set for demolition within the new design plans. Architects are tasked to develop a plan to preserve the historic elements of city tanning operations with the proposed development.

The design revealed Thursday will go to the city’s Historic Preservation Commission soon for review and approval.