The Historic District New Construction
There’s not much space for new construction in the 50 square blocks that make up the Historic District in Downtown Frederick. Two of the largest new homes sites are just finishing up: Townes at Maxwell Square (two left), and North Pointe neighborhood. North Pointe has 10 lots left at my last check.
North Pointe was originally a Net-Zero building project, which had some problems when the builder, Nexus Homes never completed the project. Nexus faced lawsuits from subcontractors and buyers, and when 21 of the 50 homes were built, they abruptly stopped building in 2013.
The housing authority began defaulting its contract with Nexus in 2014, and began the search for a builder to finish the neighborhood. The community is now being finished by a local company, Lancaster Builders. Lancaster builders have been building energy efficient homes for many years. The Lancaster homes have solar and geothermal features similar to Nexus homes, but they will not be built using the same technology.
It is a community of single-family homes, townhouses and duplexes. They are located between Bentz Street on the west, 7th Street on the north, and 6th Street on the south.
Townes at Maxwell Square
Maxwell Square Townhouses have a long story as well. After much work, the original builder succeeded in getting (all but 3 of) the homes in the block torn down because they were inhabitable. The process of getting permission from the Historic Commission can be intense. Churchill Homes got approval for 42 floor plans, for 49 luxury townhouse condominiums to be built. The first row along East 5th Street were constructed and then the market collapsed in 2007. Eventually the company sold out to Comstock Builders, who finished the project, with 2 houses left to be sold, at my last check.
Infill Lots in Downtown Frederick
There are several small building projects that take place throughout downtown Frederick, as empty lots are built, or non-habitable homes are torn down. Hemby Builders built 3 homes along E. 5th Street in 2015. One home was built on E. 6th Street and is now on the market. One can always see rehab projects going on, as investors buy up old homes and flip them. There is still a lot of room for renovations in the Historic District.
The old county government office building on the 5th block of Market Street (520 N. Market) is being renovated into apartments. In early 2016, the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development awarded the workforce housing initiative a $15 million tax equity program award. This is a key funding piece to allowing Interfaith Housing Alliance and PIRHL to purchase the property. The plan is to develop the site into 55 to 60 workforce housing rental apartments for mixed-income families with some units reserved for at- or below-medium income families.
Old School Board Building
The old Frederick County School Board offices on 115 E Church Street have been on the market for several years. This property offers 28,390 square feet of building space and 18,800 square feet of land. Ausherman company is in negotiations to make this an artist’s residence and community. With the growing artist community in Frederick, this seems like a winning idea.