Historic Preservation Commissions often get a bad rap for unnecessarily hindering redevelopment and adaptive reuse of properties with historical significance. However, recent projects approved by the City of Frederick Historic Preservation Commission in the historic downtown area lay waste to that misconception and prove that historic preservation is not the enemy of redevelopment and new investment in urban areas as described in the below Frederick News-Post article. This is especially true for smaller cities like Frederick with a wealth of historical assets that are essential to its economy. These new businesses approved by the Frederick City HPC bear witness to the continuing growth and vitality of the historic downtown and the reasonable balance that can be achieved between new and historic development.
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A popcorn shop, a hair salon, a farm-to-fork restaurant and a holistic health spa all took steps this week toward coming to fruition in and around downtown Frederick.
The planned projects are all new businesses and received independent approvals from the city’s Historic Preservation and Planning commissions for everything from storefront construction to signage.
At 39 S. Market St., Ryan Witt is preparing to open the Popcorn House, which is set to offer traditional and flavored popcorn similar to the kind sold at Fisher’s Popcorn on the Ocean City Boardwalk. The owner and architects received approval to complete exterior renovations at Thursday’s Historic Preservation Commission meeting.
Brian Bradfield and Bill Ellison of Ellison & Benjamin Architecture presented the plans, which include the rehabilitation of the storefront and removal of wood paneling and a portion of the roof, as well as construction of a new storefront window and details surrounding it. The exterior doors are set to remain as is, and new awnings will be installed.
After the commissioners approved the application Thursday, Bradfield, the senior project engineer for Benjamin & Ellison, said construction, which also includes interior renovations, should commence in the next month and last several months.
“Hopefully it will be done in time to watch at least some of the summer activities,” he said.
Around the corner at 50 Citizens Way, at the site of the former Greene Turtle Sports Bar and Grille, the owners of a new dual farm-to-fork restaurant and ice cream shop are inching closer to an opening date.
ABOUT DAVID SEVERN
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David A. Severn has been practicing law in Frederick MD, since 1980 and focuses his practice on land use, development and real estate. He represents clients in all aspects of the zoning and land use process appearing regularly before planning commissions, boards of appeal and legislative bodies of Frederick County, Washington County and their municipalities. He has served as lead counsel in numerous large and complex development projects including “Carroll Creek Park” a mixed use, public-private partnership re-development project in historic downtown Frederick modeled on River Walk in San Antonio, “Frederick Crossing”, the first large mixed use commercial retail/employment center in Frederick County and the redevelopment of the Frederick Towne Mall. David also works for the public sector in serving as legal counsel to the Town of Walkersville, Frederick County and Washington County Public Schools for real estate and land use matters.
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