CUMBERLAND, Md. — The pouring of foundation supports by contractors for a Starbucks in LaVale and a building at the Cumberland Gateway site are expected to begin soon.
The building at Cumberland Gateway will be along Park Street in the city while the Starbucks will be located beside Taco Bell on National Highway, LaVale.
“The plan is for the contractors who will pour the footers to be in LaVale up on National Highway starting on Monday,” said Cumberland Mayor Ray Morriss. “It should take them about a week to get that done. So the following Monday, that would be the first Monday in October, we are hopeful they will be at the Cumberland Gateway project then. If not the beginning of the week it should be in that week.”
Sometimes referred to as the Rolling Mill project, the Cumberland Gateway commercial center will be constructed between Maryland Avenue and Park Street and will contain a hotel, restaurants and shops. The developer for both the Cumberland Gateway and Starbucks is Ed Scott, a partner with Kline Scott Visco Commercial Real Estate of Frederick.
“That’s our understanding; that is what the developer has told us,” said Matt Miller, director of the Cumberland Economic Development Corporation. “He (Scott) has contracted with the same group to perform the work at both sites. They will get the work started at the Starbucks first and then pour the footers at Cumberland Gateway after that. He is expecting to have the materials for the actual construction delivered in November. So that actual construction will hopefully begin soon after that.”
The Cumberland Gateway project has faced several delays to actual construction, the latest being the impact of the pandemic on the supply chain.
“They had to do a little reconfiguring of plans based on what was available at the market and what was not,” said Miller. “It was going to be pushed back to February but obviously that was unacceptable. So I believe they did some redesigning to do it. So November is better than February.”
When complete, the building along Park Street will house up to four businesses with D’Atri Subs and an undisclosed cell phone business likely candidates for tenants.
“We’ve seen a couple hiccups due to a lack of materials and COVID issues but everything is moving along,” said Miller.
In other economic development news, city officials are reporting that interest has grown in 19 Frederick Street. The Georgian Revival-style building was constructed between 1902 and 1904. It has been used as a post office, police station and an HRDC senior center over the years, but has been vacant for several years.
Miller said a request for proposal to allow developers to submits plans and a bid will go out within a couple of weeks.
“A 30-day RFP will go out soon so the private sector can propose any type of use they wish to acquire 19 Frederick Street and redevelop it,” he said. “We’ve had several people interested in it as of recent so it prompted us to put out to bid instead of picking a favorite and that will give us the opportunity to vet each proposition individually.
“I’m sure myself and others will form a group and come up with a recommendation for the mayor and city council. We want to see items like job creation and capital investment and timelines and we want to see a use that is beneficial for the overall community and look at the economic impact. That will be the criteria. We want it back in the hands of the private sector and back on the tax rolls.”
Miller said an RFP will also soon be forthcoming for the former M&T Bank Building, on the downtown pedestrian mall at 118 Baltimore St. The CEDC purchased the five-story, 44,000-square-feet building for $500,000 in June of 2019.
Although plans are no longer imminent for a boutique hotel, as was discussed in recent years, Miller said nothing is off the table. “We are open to whatever comes out of the RFP and we’ve not ruled out anything.”