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Footer Dye building renovation awarded $1.9M

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Footer Dye building renovation awarded $1.9M

This September file photo shows the Footer Dye Works building after scaffolding was erected to begin renovation work on the structure. The Maryland Historical Trust announced Monday that the project has been awarded nearly $1.9 million in historical tax credits.

The Footer Dye Works building renovation project was awarded $1.875 million in historical tax credits.

An agency of the Maryland Department of Planning, The Maryland Historical Trust on Monday said six projects would share in $9 million of sustainable communities tax credits.

The four-story Footer building, which is being transformed into a mixed-use residential and commercial structure, was one of the six projects approved and the only project in Western Maryland to be awarded tax credits.

“We are excited. It allows the project to proceed,” said Dee Dee Ritchie, executive director of the Canal Place Preservation and Development Authority.

“We are pleased. There was no reason we wouldn’t get it. But we are happy with the credits and the support we have received from the community,” said Michael Joy, principal member of the Footer development team.

Ritchie said the tax credits will help offset the cost of refurbishing the 144 windows in the historic building. Restoring the windows is expected to cost well over $500,000.

“The windows are so very expensive. You have to do it by Maryland Historical Trust guidelines,” said Ritchie.

Another time consuming and expensive part is restoring the historic French clay tile roof. Aided by warm and dry autumn weather thus far, the roof renovation is progressing.

“It is going along very, very well. We are 40 percent done. It is going easier than expected. The weather has been helpful,” said Joy.

“We hope the weather holds out. They are making tremendous progress. We’re ahead of schedule,” said Ritchie.

The Footer building had been approved in 2014 for federal tax credits in excess of $2 million.

The officials hope the project will be completed by December 2016. The plans call for a brewpub on the first floor, offices on the second floor and loft apartments on the remaining floors.

“We think we may get the brewpub in before the end of the year (2016),” said Joy.

The brewpub will be operated by Gary Brooks, who currently owns Barley and Hops Grill and Microbrewery in Frederick.

The total renovation of the Footer building is expect to be $9 million.

The Footer project will include the addition of a sawtooth wing on the first floor. The wing will be constructed similar to the original sawtooth buildings that made up the Footer complex. Current plans call for the restaurant to be in the sawtooth structure.

In addition to the roof work visible to passersby, Joy said a lot of work is being done to the interior, including restoring trusses.

The Maryland Historical Trust described the project in a press release as follows:

“Built in 1905, the Footer building is an important remnant of the city’s industrial age. The Footer functioned as one of the dominant cleaning and dyeing facilities in the mid-Atlantic region through the first third of the 20th century. The structure will be restored and expanded to house a mix of rental housing units, a restaurant brewery and commercial office space.”

Greg Larry is a reporter at Cumberland Times-News. To reach him, call 301-876-5329, email and follow him on Twitter.

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