Downtown Renovation Project Awarded

Published: November 5, 2019

CUMBERLAND — The Baltimore Street Redevelopment Project has been awarded a $3.2 million grant, according to a press release issued Monday by the Cumberland Economic Development Corp.

The Federal Highway Administration is the source of the funding with the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration awarding the grant through its Transportation Alternatives Program.

The CEDC oversees much of the economic development work in the Cumberland city limits.

The Baltimore Street project calls for the replacement of aging underground utility lines beneath the downtown pedestrian mall, then installing a one-way street from Mechanic Street east to George Street. Baltimore Street had formerly extended through the downtown until it was bricked over in 1977 to create a pedestrian mall. The project is also expected to include cosmetic updates to the downtown area.

The latest grant for $3.2 million brings the total funds secured for the project to $6.4 million. The project had already been awarded $2 million in a previous round of TAP funding. In addition, the project has received $1.25 million in grant funds from the Appalachian Regional Commission.

In addition, the city has funded $630,000 in engineering work completed by the EADS Group. The Downtown Development Commission has funded $47,500 for a design plan from Cochrane Studios.

Estimated cost of the project is $9.4 million. According to the latest numbers, the current funding shortfall is $2.2 million, the CEDC release said.

“I am pleased for the work that has been performed by the local, state and federal officials to close the funding gap,” Paul Kelly, CEDC executive director, said Monday. “We are extremely optimistic we will have the funding in place in a timely manner.”

The plan to renovate the downtown city center includes installing a hotel in the former M&T Bank Building at 166 Baltimore St.

“The project is being undertaken as part of a much broader economic and community development revitalization effort for the city’s urban core, including the development of a 44,000-square-foot building along Baltimore Street for purposes of a 48-room boutique hotel,” according to the release.

Matt Miller, economic development specialist with the CEDC, said, “We have had great success identifying grant opportunities specific to aspects of this project which we plan to pursue and will ultimately minimize the local financial burden a great deal.”

Follow staff writer Greg Larry on Twitter @GregLarryCTN.

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