The Cumberland Economic Development Corporation is pleased to announce that the City of Cumberland has been awarded an additional $3,174,027 to its previous Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) grant of $2,040,000 announced in January 2018. This brings the total award amount to $5,214,027 of federal funding from the TAP program administered by the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) for the Baltimore Street Access Project.
Additionally, the CEDC has also successfully obtained $1,250,000 of grant funding through the Appalachian Regional Commission’s Local Access Road Program to administer toward the project.
The Baltimore Street Access Project is a CEDC and City of Cumberland effort to revitalize the City’s urban core by, among other things,
- Re-introducing automobile and bicycle traffic onto Baltimore Street; thereby, improving connectivity of the intermodal transportation system, e.g., Canal Place, the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad, the Great Allegheny Passage, the Amtrak station, the County bus transit system, I-68 ingress and egress, and bicycle trails throughout the City;
- Introducing fiber optic cable along Baltimore Street; thereby, completing the downtown fiber loop and creating a “giga-byte downtown”;
- Installing sprinkler infrastructure to buildings along Baltimore Street; thereby, promoting upper story redevelopment for residential purposes and lower story redevelopment for commercial purposes; and
- Replacement of underground infrastructure that has not been materially improved since well before the 1978 installation of the pedestrian mall.
This project is being undertaken pursuant to, and consistent with, the City’s Strategic Economic Development Plan, a CEDC sponsored economic impact analysis and retail gap analysis performed by Sage Policy Group, Inc., and a CEDC sponsored streetscape design plan prepared by Cochran Studio, Inc. The project is also being undertaken as part of a much broader economic and community development revitalization effort for the City’s urban core, including, the development of a 44,000 s.f. building along Baltimore Street for purposes of a 48 room boutique hotel, the redevelopment of a 6.5 acre area adjacent to I-68 for commercial development, the performance of an urban core connectivity analysis, the preparation of a master design plan for the urban core, and the performance of a comprehensive housing analysis.
The City of Cumberland hired a civil engineering firm, The EADS Group, Inc. (“EADS”), to prepare the Plan, Specifications & Estimates for the project at a cost of $626,246. Also, the CEDC and Downtown Development Corporation (“DDC”), an agency of the City tasked with managing Baltimore Street, hired Cochran Studio, Inc. to prepare the streetscape design plan for the project at a cost of $47,500. EADS also produced a project cost estimate of $8,699,530 for the project in May, 2019. Thus, the total project cost is estimated to be $9,373,276.
There currently remains a gap in funding of approximately $2,236,000 which the CEDC is actively seeking to lessen, and potentially fill entirely.
“We have been working very closely with our partners from multiple state and federal agencies to identify potential funding sources for the project” explains Matt Miller, Economic Specialist with the CEDC. “We have had great success identifying grant opportunities specific to aspects of this project which we plan to pursue and will ultimately minimize the local financial burden a great deal”
“The DDC is very much looking forward to the full funding amount being secured for this exciting project.” Says Sandi Saville, president of the Downtown Development Commission. “We feel it will revitalize and stimulate economic growth in our downtown.”