Fredrick, MD a satellite city with great History and Urban Environment

Fredrick is a City with a ton of history. Its location where the Catoctin Mountains meet the rolling hills of the Piedmont region made Frederick a crossroads even before European explorers arrived. The town was platted in 1745 and early settlement beginning in the late 1700s. Many of the first settlers were German reformers and Lutherans. Fredrick quicky became the county seat for Western Maryland and an important market town. It was also the center of the young nation’s leading mining area in the early 19th century. As a major crossroads, Frederick saw considerable action during the American Civil War. Fredrick’s population grew slowly after the Civil War and into the 20th century hitting 9,000 in 1900 and 16,000 after WWII. Suburban growth from DC  fueled explosive growth since WWII and Fredrick now tops 70,000.

The Downtown portion of Fedrick is the best part of the City complete with gorgeous 19th century architecture, especially the Italianate styles, a great main street along Market Street and several blocks of Patrick St. Recent interest in the town from DC residents looking for a quality walkable environment but cheaper housing has led to a renaissance for Dwtn Fredrick. This has sparked a great food & beverage scene, cultural arts, new recreational spaces, and lots of retail and independent stores. The next step to improving downtown Fredrick’s urban environment is investing in the gritty edges of town. Still room for quality urban in-fill here. Downtown also needs a supermarket. Some larger retailers would also be nice.

Click here to view my photo Album on Flickr

URBAN STRENGTHS:

* Wonderful historic 19th century architecture mixing Georgian, federalist, and Italianate styles.
* Infill limited overall but some great new construction in the NW section of downtown reflecting historic styles and massing.
* Quality local transit service.
* Great connectivity and street grid.
* Nice bike path along the Carroll Creek greenway. No bike sharing stations yet.
* Highly walkable neighborhood.
* Great economic diversity in Dwtn Fredrick.
* For sale housing is good mix of price points and cheap compared to DC prices. One bedrooms condos/rowhouses sell between 150-300K. 2-bedrooms 150K-450K depending on condition, 3 & 4 bedrooms between 200K-500K. Some higher end product selling for over 500K.
* Rental options pretty reasonable as well. 1-bedrooms rent in the low $1,000s. 2-bedrooms in the mid $1,000s. Limited 3-bedroom rentals. Generally above 2K. Some affordable rentals downtown as well.
* Carroll Creek provides great park & recreational amenities including a bike trail, playground, sport fields, a bandstand, and green space. Some smaller parks spread throughout dwtn Fredrick as well.
* Culturally dwtn hosts a great array of restaurants, cafes, & bars, many museums & historic sites, several theater company and an Arts Center, live music venues, and a plethora of art galleries.
* Retail options include a great variety of boutiques, creative stores, bookstores, Dwtn library & post office, a couple drug stores, and other general retail.
* Blighted limited to the edges of Dwtn. Crime rates in Fredrick near national average.
* Schools are well rated in Fredrick. 2 walkable elementary schools sit just outside of dwtn. The middle & high school ae located about a 2 miles away. 
URBAN WEAKNESSES:

* ADA infrastructure and sidewalks and generally good but ADA compliant ramps are limited and much of the sidewalks are brick due to historic preservation requirements.
* Not convenient to the District as its an hour drive (on a good day) and 1.5 transit trip. But lots of jobs nearby along I-270.
* Limited racial diversity. A mostly white population.
* Supermarket is located about 1 mile outside of dwtn.
* Very inconvenient assess to Downtown DC. Most jobs lie along 270 and are only accessible by car. 

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