Facade Improvement Grant Project

May 29, 2015 / / News

View WHAG TV’s spot on the City of Frederick Facade Improvement Project.  Justin Kiska, President of the Golden Mile Alliance, speaks out in support of this grant program.  Contact us for information on how your business could benefit.  Watch it here!

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GMA Announces Facade Improvement Grant Program

May 20, 2015 / / News

The Golden Mile Alliance is excited to announce the launch of its new Façade Improvement Grant Program for the Route 40/Golden Mile Corridor on the west side of Frederick. The Façade Improvement Program offers up to $23,500 in matching funds for façade improvements. Building and/or business owners can apply for up to fifty percent (50%) of the cost of their improvement project. The maximum grant contribution by the GMA is $23,500. The minimum is $1,000. The goal of the project is to encourage building renovation and improved economic vitality by providing funding to upgrade Golden Mile building facades.

Any building owner or business owner/tenant (with the authorization of the property owner) may apply for the funding. To be eligible for the program, properties must be located within the Golden Mile Small Area Plan. The city’s Department of Economic Development can assist in determining if a property is located in the designated area.

“We are thrilled to be able to launch this grant program,” says Justin M. Kiska, President of The Golden Mile Alliance. “With so many development and redevelopment projects about to get underway along Route 40, this will provide assistance to other building and business owners looking to renovate and improve their properties.”

Those interested in learning more about the Façade Improvement Grant can read all about it here.

The Golden Mile Alliance is an independent 501(c)3 organization, founded in partnership with the City of Frederick, to promote and foster a vibrant and safe Golden Mile gateway community through business, neighborhood and economic development activities.  Its vision is to ensure that the Golden Mile is an attractive, diverse, and highly dynamic, mixed-use commercial corridor with top retail, office, and service uses linked by safe pedestrian routes to healthy residential neighborhoods and parks.

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New Residential Developments Will Change West Side of Frederick

April 19, 2015 / / News

By Jen Fifield, The Frederick News-Post
Sunday, April 19, 2015

Willow Bend, a town house community built in the Hillcrest neighborhood nearly 20 years ago, is quickly becoming one of the newest neighborhoods on the west side of Frederick.

One by one, the town houses, which were previously rental properties, are being renovated and then sold. And they are being sold quickly, at about one per week, said Mike Muren, a real estate agent selling the development.

The fact that so many people are jumping on the sale, Muren said, shows that people are starting to recognize the opportunity on the west side of the city of Frederick.

Read the Full Article

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Around the City of Frederick: Moving Into the Golden Mile

March 30, 2015 / / News

By Jen Fifield; Frederick News Post
Monday, March 30, 2015
In the words of Justin Kiska, for a while, the Golden Mile has been a bit dead.

The U.S. 40 corridor just west of U.S. 15 hasn’t seen much new investment in years, especially since Frederick Towne Mall has been vacant.

That’s changing though, said Kiska, president of the board of the Golden Mile Alliance. Plans for redevelopment of the mall site are moving forward, and other businesses are moving in.

“There’s so much going on,” he said.

Demolition of the mall should start this summer, Kiska said, and a new Wal-Mart will follow. Other new commercial space will come with that redevelopment, opening the opportunity for several new businesses, he said.

“There will be life again in one of the largest shopping areas in Frederick,” he said.

Some new life is already coming to Westridge Square.

For a few months now, a banner has been hanging on the old location of the Gmart, announcing that another international store with a similar name, Hmart, is moving in.

It’s almost deja vu for those who frequent the area, as a banner hung on the storefront for months before Gmart moved in, too. That didn’t work out so well, as Gmart opened in September 2013 and closed in November 2014.

Kiska said he doesn’t know when Hmart will open, and representatives from the company didn’t return a phone call.

Next to the Hmart, a family from Arlington, Virginia, plans to open a new Peruvian-style rotisserie chicken restaurant, The Golden Beak. The restaurant should open within the next month.

The restaurant owners, Darian Mian and his parents, Niaz and Alecia Mian, saw the location, which is visible from U.S. 40 and has ample parking, as a perfect place for the restaurant.

“There is a good, large and diverse population in Frederick,” he said. “It’s the perfect place for this type of business.”

The opening of the Hmart will provide for great business, he said.

“The store brings a lot of people from different walks of life,” he said.

There is already a Peruvian-style rotisserie chicken restaurant near U.S. 40, Sardi’s.

Mian said his family’s plan is to serve only fresh ingredients cooked on-site.

Another store appears to be almost ready to open in Westridge Square.

There is a sign for United Grow Supply where the Oreck vacuum store used to be, and the store is stocked with gardening and landscaping supplies.

Shops always seem to be moving in and out, said Michael Bateman, one of the owners of Il Forno, also in the complex.

After the Giant moved out, it seemed as if Il Forno almost became the anchor, Bateman said.

“Luckily, we had built such a good client base that they still came for us,” he said.

Il Forno has been in the square for 25 years, and Bateman has been an owner for 15 years, so he has seen a lot of change.

While he said he is looking forward to the Hmart and Wal-Mart, he said the restaurant won’t rely on it.

“We take care of ourselves, and worry about ourselves,” he said.

Asked for the secret to staying alive on the Golden Mile, he said, it’s simple.

“You have to have a good product, and you have to treat people like family,” he said.