Activating 135 acres of City-owned land, Westside Regional Park will deliver critical open space and recreational opportunities to residents — improving public health and local quality of life. The park will provide first-rate sports facilitates that are needed in the Frederick region. The venue will serve community sports teams and enable Frederick to attract tournament play to the City — stimulating the local economy and decreasing travel demands on Frederick families. More detailed information can be found in the Westside Regional Park Plan.
A destination playground dedicated to the memory of sisters Sophie and Madigan Lillard is moving closer to becoming a reality at the future Westside Regional Park at Hargett Farm. The playground will honor the lives of Sophie and Madigan Lillard by building a memorial playground and providing opportunities for children and their families to play, learn, and create lifelong memories together, and in ways that reflect the beautiful personalities and spirits of these two sisters.
The City of Frederick will fund basic park infrastructure, while money raised through the nonprofit Sophie & Madigan’s Playground will fund the equipment and other amenities.
The playground is slated to include three different “lands” — Fantasy Land, Neverland, and Wonderland — made up of custom equipment, and details reflecting the girls’ spirits and personalities.
Check here for more information about Sophie and Madigan’s Playground.
More excitement on the Golden Mile!
Congratulations to Mi Pueblo International Market on its December 16, 2019 Grand Opening. Please stop by and check out the market and welcome the business to the Golden Mile.
Plans for a luxury movie theater at the site of Frederick Towne Mall received a jolt of momentum Monday as developers announced the signing of a new lease agreement. Representatives of Warehouse Cinemas, a locally owned premium movie theater company, said they hope to have the theater up and running by summer 2020.
Despite the ebb and flow of the economy over the past years, the Golden Mile continues to remains a busy commercial area, making up over 50% of the commercial land within The City of Frederick. Therefore, it is important to the City and Golden Mile residents & businesses to ensure that this area remains a vibrant, active and successful shopping destination. While commerce on the Golden Mile is varied and diverse, its opportunities are endless, and should reflect the international flavor of the current residents and businesses.
Over the long history of the Golden Mile, the Fredericktowne Mall has been a major retail anchor and its continuation as a successful commercial center is critical to the future of the Golden Mile and the City of Frederick. At the present time, Danielle Balkin, of Coldwell Banker Commercial, representing the owners of the Mall property and based on her firm’s extensive marketing research, is vigorously pursuing entertainment-related tenants to locate to the Mall property (including possible restaurants, family-friendly and recreational activities). Danielle attended the recent International Conference of Shopping Centers (ICSC) convention in Las Vegas and met with many interested parties and some nationally-recognized companies that are very interested in locating at the Mall. The concept for the mall property now is to rehabilitate and renovate the structures and construct and lease to tenants some commercial pad sites in the existing parking areas. However, the Mall owners do not have any commitments at this time for any specific tenants.
However, in order to accomplish this, the conditions that were imposed on the General Commercial zoning of the Mall property in 2013 related to the since withdrawn single tenant Walmart plan need to be removed. That previous plan also contemplated the demolition and complete redevelopment of the mall property. Under the current concept and market, those conditions are a direct impediment to attracting tenants to the Mall property because of the legal uncertainty associated with a potential tenant having to satisfy those conditions that were intended for a large, box retailer and a complete redevelopment of the entire mall property.
Many of the conditions imposed on the Mall property are based on elements of Golden Mile Small Area Plan, which for every other business or land use on the Golden Mile is a simple guidance document, not a mandatory requirement. Unfortunately under the City Land Management Code, there is no quick and simple way to remove the conditions, so Dave Severn, on behalf of the owners filed a re-zoning application with the Mayor and Board of Aldermen requesting the removal of the conditions but with the General Commercial zoning to remain. If approved, the re-zoning request to remove these conditions will allow the Mall, and its potential new tenants, to be treated the same as all the other business on the Golden Mile. The Golden Mile Small Area Plan remains in effect, and will apply and be considered by the Planning Commission in any future site plans for new tenants on the Mall property.
This rezoning process has started. There have been two required public hearings by the City Planning Commission (PC) and on November 12, 2019, the Planning Commission is recommending to the Mayor and Board of Aldermen to rezone the Mall as general commercial with no conditions.
The Planning Commission’s recommendation will be transmitted to the Mayor and Board of Alderman for a public workshop and then a public hearing where it may make a final decision. The final hearing is scheduled for January 16, 2020.
The Golden Mile Alliance supports this zoning change and will be attending the workshops and hearings in support of this change. Interested citizens are very welcome to come and provide their input.