Some have said the area has lost a lot of its luster.
Frederick, Md (KM) It’s been said that the Golden Mile in Frederick has lost some of its luster over the years, especially with the closing of the Frederick Towne Mall. But Richard Griffin, the City’s Director of Economic Development, says the area still has some potential. “There’s more than 50,000 vehicle trips a day up and down the Golden Mile,” he says. “And from a retailer’s perspective, that’s a gold mine. People driving up and down with cash with their pocket who could potentially be purchasers of food and retail goods.”
The Golden Mile is about 530-acres along Route 40 or West Patrick Street. It includes 350 businesses which accounts for 28% of the total commercial area of Frederick. Its development began in the 1970’s but it has been in decline with the closure of the Frederick Towne Mall in 2014.
In 2018, the State of Maryland designated that area an Enterprise Zone. “The Enterprise Zone allows both businesses, property owners to take advantage of tax credits both real property and income tax benefits,” says Griffin. And, he says, a number of businesses have done just that. “We had a couple companies take advantage of that, and our hope is to get a little bit of gravity moving, a little bit of momentum on more businesses wanting to come,” says Griffin.
But the big question when it comes to the Golden Mile is the future of the Frederick Towne Mall property. Most of it is vacant with exception of two anchor stores, Boscov’s and the Home Depot. Griffin says previous owners waited for the leases held my merchants to run out so that this retail center could be torn down. There plans for an old main street type shopping center with a mix of retail and residential. Wal-Mart was also interested in opening a third store in Frederick, but the retail giant pulled out.
Griffin says the current owners want to bring merchants back to the Mall. “They’ve hired great brokers. They are working with perspective tenants. They’ve been to International Council of Shopping Centers’ Conferences to recruit tenants,” he says “Our hope that they’re going to be successful and we’re working with the Golden Mile Alliance and property owners to try and help them out.” he says.
Griffin was a guest recently on WFMD’s “Frederick’s Forum.”
By Kevin McManus