The State of Downtown Frederick: A Thriving Main Street Community In the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Area

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Downtown Frederick has something for everyone.

When one calls a place home for long enough, it can be easy to forget the things that make that place remarkable. Downtown Frederick is lucky to have a thriving downtown that many other communities envy. In fact, one of the most common sentiments that the Partnership hears from visiting economic development professionals is, “Wow! You take for granted how much Downtown Frederick has going for it.”

So, to celebrate all that Downtown Frederick has to offer, the Partnership is sharing a small list of those things that make this city remarkable. Because, when a community is this special, it can’t be taken for granted.

Downtown Frederick really does have something for everyone. 285 stores and restaurants call Downtown Frederick home. That means, that in an area of roughly 50 square blocks, there are food markets, clothing stores, entertainment venues, dining and beverage options for every taste, personal services (salons, barbers, massage therapists, doctors, etc.), home furnishings, books and record shops, all within walking distance of the general services that make life go (banks, library, government services and offices). In an era of increasing online shopping, one should not take for granted the wealth of shopping and dining options avaialble in Downtown Frederick.

When money is spent downtown, it stays in the community. 99% of Downtown Frederick’s businesses are independently owned. According to the American Independent Business Alliance, on average, 48 percent of each purchase at local independent businesses is recirculated locally, compared to less than 14 percent of purchases at chain stores. “Shop Small” is more than just a phrase that should be said once or twice a year – it’s a mentality that should guide all purchasing decisions. When money is spent in our community, it boosts the local economy in a very real and tangible way. If you want to see a small business succeed, you have to support it.

Downtown Frederick is beautiful by design. Downtown Frederick is a real place – not a museum. There is value in the beautiful architecture and history-lined streets, the neighborhood character with big city amenities, the independent businesses and our year-round events that attract residents and visitors alike. Keeping Downtown Frederick the beautiful destination that it is today has been the result of investment by many community partners. From projects as large as the development of Carroll Creek Linear Park, to smaller projects that can be taken for granted – like the installation of new waste receptacles, summer months made brighter by flower baskets hanging from street lamps, or having twinkling lights in the trees during the holiday season – Downtown Frederick is lucky to have so many organizations who are working to make it a vibrant and attractive place to live.

Housing options in Downtown Frederick are expanding. People living downtown keep us real. Reusing, adapting and growing the existing building stock is a sustainable way to increase the number of people who can call Downtown Frederick home. More residents bring more businesses, which makes downtown an even better place to live. In the past year, at least 84 new housing units have been completed in Downtown Frederick and more are on the horizon. These recently completed units include 59 new apartments at 520 N Market St, 18 loft style apartments at Kemp Hall and 7 owner occupied units at Pythian Castle.

Downtown Frederick Partnership is a nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing, promoting and preserving the vitality and livability of Downtown Frederick, a national Main Street community.

The Partnership is currently working on its next Strategic Plan, which will guide its work through 2025. As part of this process, the Partnership is seeking input from the general public in the way of a short 5-question survey. The primary questions are, “What three words come to mind when you think about Downtown Frederick?” and “Downtown Frederick would be even better if…” Respond to the survey online at surveymonkey.com/r/downtownfrederick.

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