The City of Frederick has been awarded grant funding support in the amount of $250,000 from the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) Strategic Demolition Fund (SDF) for the rehabilitation of the property at 331 N. Market Street in Downtown Frederick.
The site -- locally known as 'Carmack Jays,' referencing its original tenant -- served as a grocery store for Downtown Frederick residents from the late 1950s until 1998 when the last tenant, Tesoro's Food Markets, closed. Since this time, the building has sat unoccupied. Encompassing nearly a complete block of Downtown Frederick, this vacancy has been an unfortunately prominent detriment to City residents.
The roughly 18,000 square foot shell building is currently owned by Douglas Development Corporation of Washington D.C. Since taking ownership in 2002, the Douglas Development Corporation has actively marketed the property to potential grocery, pharmacy, and other tenants. The owners have invested several hundred thousand dollars to put a new facade on the building and improve the parking lot to increase the appeal of the property. However, a lease has never been executed due, in large part, to high renovation costs, parking constraints, and accessibility. The City has also worked for years to identify a viable tenant, but found similar concerns among prospects.
Excitingly, this recently awarded grant will now help enable critical proactive public and private steps to attract revival of the site.