Golden Mile Business Facades Shine a Little Brighter

March 17, 2016 / / Uncategorized

Frederick City Department of Economic Development
Tuesday, March 10, 2016

In collaboration with The City of Frederick, Golden Mile Alliance, and Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), three businesses along the Golden Mile received facade improvement grants to enhance the image and improve the economic vitality of the corridor.

The City of Frederick received $100,000 from the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development to support an expanded facade improvement program along the Patrick Street corridor.  The corridor encompasses businesses within the Golden Mile, Downtown Frederick, and East Frederick.

The Golden Mile Alliance Design Committee approved facade improvement grants for Casa Rico, Petersen’s Carpet & Flooring and Vista Shops at Golden Mile. 

The facade improvement program will continue in 2016 as The City of Frederick was recently awarded funding for FY2016 by DHCD.  Additional communication, including a call for applications will be provided once funding is made available.



Repair included a new sign, fresh paint for exterior including the roof and gutter replacement.


Improvements included new stairs and railings, lighting, planter boxes, window casings and a vestibule entrance.


Improvements included fresh paint,graffiti removal, and new paint color.

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New Chipotle Branch Slated for Golden Mile

March 15, 2016 / / News

By Nancy Lavin, Frederick News Post
Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The red and brown pepper logo of Chipotle Mexican Grill is coming to the eastern entrance to the city of Frederick’s Golden Mile.

The city Planning Commission on Monday unanimously voted to approve final site plans for a Chipotle at the northeast corner of Baughman’s Lane and U.S. 40, on the same property as Motel 6. The proposal submitted by the Baltimore-based development company Southside Investment Partners includes a 2,300-square-foot building with parking, landscaping and other site improvements.

There are also Chipotles on Wormans Mill Road in Frederick and on Buckeystown Pike in Westview Promenade, according to the Chipotle website.

In an interview after the meeting, Ben Hoskins, president of Southside Investment Partners, described Chipotle as a “top of class user” that is respected in the community. Hoskins said groundbreaking would occur later this year, with an opening slated for early 2017.

Chipotle is leasing the site from Southside Investment Partners. The 999 W. Patrick St. property is owned by West Patrick Hospitality LLC, according to state property tax records.

The commission’s approval came with a series of conditions that the developer must meet before construction can begin. They include requirements for the developer to designate pedestrian routes from Baughman’s Lane and the adjacent Motel 6 to the new Chipotle.

A third condition is that the developer might be required to pay for signs at either end of the median that will be constructed on Baughman’s Lane to prohibit motorists from making U-turns.

The median separating traffic down Baughman’s Lane will be added as part of the project to construct a Wawa on the other corner of Baughman’s Lane and U.S. 40.

The Chipotle project plans also call for a median on the southern access point to the site, restricting incoming and outgoing traffic to right turns only. Several commission members expressed concern that the two medians would cause motorists leaving Chipotle to turn right on Baughman’s Lane, then make a U-turn to head toward U.S. 40.

Commission member Ron Burns proposed a “no U-turn” sign to prevent this. Tracy Coleman, the city’s deputy director of engineering, said she did not know if the street would fail the requirements for U-turns.

Ultimately, commission members agreed to add this as a condition if the city engineering department determines the lane width to be inadequate for U-turns and no signage currently exists.

The project incorporates several design features outlined in the city’s small area plan for the Golden Mile, including improvements to on-site traffic flow and better pedestrian and bicyclist access, according to the report submitted by Brandon Mark, a city planner. The building’s proximity to U.S. 40, with just a 100-foot setback from the street, will also “animate the street with active space,” the report stated.

Hoskins described the design as “fairly standard and prototypical” compared with other Chipotles. Plans call for an 88-seat restaurant with an outside patio, 32 parking spaces and four bicycle spaces.

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County Officials: Two Needed Elementary Schools will Open on Time

March 11, 2016 / / News

By Jeremy Bauer-Wolf, Frederick News Post
Friday, March 11, 2016

Two oft-discussed elementary schools, planned in the Urbana and Hillcrest areas, will be built on schedule and open in August 2018, the county announced Thursday. Advocates have spent recent months fighting vigorously for the schools, which are intended to alleviate student overcrowding.

But the timeline for other schools in the years ahead is still jeopardized.

The county will also delay, until fiscal 2019, renovations to southern Boyers Mill Road, from the “bridge south to Old National Pike,” Gardner said. Three fire stations that were requested, but never included in the county capital plan, also won’t be funded — a Hamptons West fire station, a Jefferson Tech Park fire station and a downtown Frederick station.

County Executive Jan Gardner on Thursday announced the developer partnership. These developers will front the costs of the state share of funding — a total of about $27 million — on three projects: the new Frederick High School, which is under construction, and the two elementary schools, Sugarloaf Elementary School, in Urbana, and Butterfly Ridge Elementary, in Frederick.

That $27 million will be split evenly between the two developers, Natelli Communities and Elm Street Development. The breakdown of the $27 million will be $9.8 million for Frederick High School, $6.8 million for Sugarloaf Elementary and $10.2 million for Butterfly Ridge Elementary.

The developers will put up a letter of credit. The county will borrow the state share of what the schools would cost, and the developers agree to carry the interest on the bond. This is known as “forward-funding.”

Other projects are still endangered in future years, officials said.

Future state money would need to be redirected to pay off the debt — which may take roughly five years, Gardner said — instead of other school construction in the later years.

Beyond the elementary schools, Frederick County Public Schools has sought an addition to Waverley Elementary School, a new or renovated Rock Creek School, and a new elementary school in the eastern part of the county. Gardner also announced Thursday a task force to examine school construction solutions. Still, no one can yet identify where the county will scrounge up more funding.

“I have committed to the developers who have stepped forward that I will help them and be part of the solution to find the out-year strategy, as well,” said M.C. Keegan-Ayer, vice president of the County Council. “Because if we’re not all working together, this boat is going over the waterfall.”

County officials were in months of talks with the developers before arriving at a compromise.

The fee that developers pay when they want to build near an overcrowded school, a mitigation fee, now remains unchanged. Gardner had proposed a sharp increase in the fee late October, to developers’ chagrin. The legislation to alter the mitigation fee is being considered by the Frederick County Council. Council members approved an amendment to that bill to leave the mitigation fee untouched, though it still imposes an automatic annual adjustment of the fee.

The option for developers to use a mitigation fee will end in July. Gardner, who opposes mitigation fees, said she knows the development community has expressed interest in having this extended. Legislation has not yet been proposed on this front.

Gardner’s other proposal, a boost to county impact fees — which are also levied on developers and channeled toward school construction — is still before the County Council, though the increase is spread out over two years instead of one. Gardner said she is including increases to impact fees in her budget, but not mitigation fees.

Natelli Communities, led by its president and chief executive officer, Tom Natelli, is a chief developer in Urbana. Elm Street Development, represented by Vice President Jason Wiley, is the developer of Lake Linganore, as well as Eastchurch, a project on the east side of the city of Frederick.

In interviews, both Natelli and Wiley said that they worked with the county government to develop both a solution to school construction woes and find benefits for builders. Natelli signed on to a county-developer collaboration last fall and recruited Wiley into the conversation.

“There was creative thinking on everybody’s part, including the [county] executive’s staff,” Wiley said. “Our objection was the fee increases that were being proposed that would not be bearable. We had to have some sort of alternative solution. In the business of compromise, everybody kind of gives a little.”

Both local and state officials have fretted over the rising costs of school construction, which they have attributed to market conditions and state mandates. The high costs have been evident in the Frederick High project, officials have said, with the most recent estimate being $112 million.

The school construction situation was critical, Keegan-Ayer said. Urbana Elementary School is at 135 percent of its state-rated capacity, according to September school district data, and Hillcrest Elementary, in Frederick, is at 140 percent of its capacity.

Crunching the numbers also unearthed that the county fell short in funding on the new Frederick High School. Without the developer partnership, Gardner said in an interview, the county would have been able to advance only one elementary school on time. This solution also allows the demolition of the current building and construction of a new Urbana Elementary, Gardner said.

On Thursday, Gardner also named members to an ad hoc panel, the brainchild of two County Council Republicans, Tony Chmelik and Kirby Delauter. This task force is narrow in focus and will examine the possibility of the private sector paying for school construction, then leasing the facilities back to the Board of Education.

A formal agreement will be signed by the county, Natelli Communities and Elm Street within 30 to 45 days, according to Natelli.

Prototype Elementary School 2nd floor planPrototype Elementary School 1st floor plan

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GMA President on WFMD’s “Frederick’s Focus”

March 9, 2016 / / News

Frederick’s Focus, WFMD Radio
Saturday, March 5, 2016

The Golden Mile Alliance’s President, Justin M. Kiska, appeared on WFMD’s “Frederick’s Focus” to discuss the redevelopment of the old Fredericktowne Mall site and other changes coming to the Golden Mile.  Follow the link below to listen to the interview.