FREDERICK’S $70 MILLION DOWNTOWN HOTEL & CONFERENCE CENTER: BOON OR BOONDOGGLE? (Maryland Policy Report)

CITY OF FREDERICK LEADERS HAVE LONG WANTED A NEW DOWNTOWN hotel. The city’s last grand downtown hotel, the Francis Scott Key, closed decades ago, along with a handful of smaller and more modest facilities. Today, Frederick’s urban core is served only by a smattering of bed-and-breakfasts and listings on Airbnb. In other respects, the downtown has experienced strongscreenshot300 revival in recent decades, with trendy shops and restaurants, new office buildings and town houses, while retaining the walkability and charm of a quirky, unplanned town dating back to the early 18th century. The lack of a hotel is not the product of insufficient demand or market failure; developers have indicated interest in such a project. Rather, it’s the result of the difficulties of carrying out such a project given the city’s considerable impact fees and regulatory barriers, especially those imposed by its Historic Preservation Commission. To overcome those obstacles, Frederick leaders are pursuing a grandiose Downtown Hotel and Conference Center (DH&CC) project that is currently estimated…

read more at site of Maryland Public Policy Institute:

http://www.mdpolicy.org/docLib/20160414_MarylandPolicyReport201603.pdf

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