Homes to be razed at Cumberland Gateway site

This July 11, 2018, aerial photo shows the Rolling Mill area following the removal of a number of structures as part of the Cumberland Gateway Plaza project. City officials said Tuesday that the project developer is planning to demolish five more structures at the site.

CUMBERLAND — City officials say the developer for the Cumberland Gateway Plaza is making arrangements to demolish five structures at the proposed site.

An update on the plaza was given during a public work session of the mayor and City Council at City Hall on Tuesday.

The Cumberland Gateway Plaza is to be constructed on a 3.5-acre tract off exit 43D of Interstate 68. Located between Maryland Avenue and Park Street, the plaza is expected to include a hotel, restaurants and shops.

The tract contained 69 homes when the city began the project in 2015. Now in its fifth year, it still has about a dozen homeowners who have refused to sell their properties.

The developer for the plaza is Ed Scott of Kline Scott Visco Commercial Real Estate of Frederick. Locally, the project is overseen by the Cumberland Economic Development Corp.

Paul Kelly, executive director of the CEDC, provided an update on the plaza at Tuesday’s meeting.

“I can tell you (the developer) is continuing to acquire other properties and continues to negotiate for other properties,” said Kelly. “Additionally, as of two weeks ago they were soliciting for contractors for demolition of some additional structures they have over there. They are working through that process.”

In a Times-News interview in August, Scott said the demolition would take place in the fall. However, officials at Tuesday’s meeting said the demolition work is still in process.

The city appointed Kevin Thacker, Cumberland’s code compliance officer, as its official project manager for the plaza. Thacker also provided an update during the meeting.

Thacker said Scott is preparing to demolish five structures already owned by the developer. Properties marked for demolition, according to Thacker, include 209 Cecelia St., 215 Emily St., 403 Maryland Ave. and 505 Maryland Ave. A multi-unit structure on the corner of Maryland Avenue and Williams Street containing three addresses (525, 527 and 529 Maryland Ave.) is also scheduled for demolition.

“We’ve done all the legwork to make it easy on him,” said Thacker. “At this point all he has to do is send back his bond and site paperwork. There is no fee; there is a bond that is put up and once the demolition is completed we release the bond back to him.

“We are waiting for the information to come back from him. Ed (Scott) has everything in his hands for the demolition. He has to select a local contractor and apparently we are waiting for word to come back from him.”

Scott said in August that the plaza will likely be a “build-around” project because of the remaining homeowners refusing to sell.

Thacker said he believed phase one was likely “to go smoothly.”

Bobby Smith, city engineer, said he has also been working with Scott.

“We are working with him with the stormwater management plans,” said Smith. “We approved a conceptual drawing plan for phase one and they will be moving into the site development phase.”

Follow staff writer Greg Larry on Twitter @GregLarryCTN.

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