Tuesday, June 30, 2015

City of Frederick Represented at Maryland Municipal League Annual Convention

Donna Goff from The City of Frederick's Department of Economic Development
greeting visitors to the Frederick booth at MML.

For the 10th year, The City of Frederick is well represented during the MML Annual Convention. Along with hundreds of other Maryland city and town officials who gather at the Maryland Municipal League’s annual convention, Frederick's Mayor, Aldermen and City staff attend to learn about and discuss municipal issues and to network with fellow city and town officials. 

During the convention, exhibitors display a wide array of products and services including wireless technology, engineering, GIS systems, financial services, insurance, lighting, ordinance codification, recreation and parks equipment, water and wastewater supplies, consultants, and public works equipment and vehicles.

The convention is also a great opportunity for other city and town representatives to visit the City of Frederick booth and find out all the fantastic events and attractions throughout the City and County. As well, we take information about projects such as the Downtown Hotel, Carroll Creek Park and the Golden Mile to share with other municipalities in the event they have similar projects and issues.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Inspiring Offices: En-Net Services

In The City of Frederick, business spaces go beyond basics. Here, unique offices allow businesses to cultivate creativity, express their company's culture, and create a work environment that inspires.  From industrial to classic, artsy to funky, historic to high tech, spaces abound to meet a variety of needs. 

Inspiring Offices is a feature that highlights some of the creative and unique office spaces in Frederick.

Enjoy a behind-the-scenes peek inside this month's inspiring office in Frederick - En-Net Services.

June 2015 Inspiring Office - En-Net Services

Originally, En-Net offered networking and energy consulting services to government contractors and major utility companies. By 1997 their offerings expanded to include  information technology products to Federal Government agencies. In 1998 En-Net was awarded a GSA schedule that is still utilized today and have formed many partnerships which allows teamwork on additional contract vehicles. Today, they take pride in offering turnkey solutions to all public sector entities including federal, state and local governments, as well as education.

DED staff met with Brian Sheffer, the original founding member and President, and learned the history about their unique building and office space. 
Why did you choose your current office location and how long has En-Net been located here? 
En-Net has always been located Downtown, in a previous location from 1996 to 2009, and now in our current location on East Street.  We were looking to expand our facility and wanted ample parking for our employees.  Our current location provides both, plus easy access to all parts of Frederick County.  En-Net employees love the fact that they work close to wonderful shops and restaurants in Downtown Frederick.

Was it “move in” ready or did you have to design/fit it out?
The previous owner of our building did a remarkable job in renovating and updating the building to accommodate a growing business.  However, due to our specific office needs, we reconfigured some of the office space.  We also repainted the entire interior and exterior of the building and just recently put in all new energy efficient lighting and windows.

An original torpedo hangs above the front porch entrance, honoring the building's original use as a torpedo manufacturer. 

What inspirations did you use to decorate/design the space?
When redesigning our office space, we wanted to preserve the history of the original structure, which was a torpedo manufacturer, and then a gymnasium. We kept the original hardwood floors in the main entrance with the gymnasium logo. The office space also has an open warehouse ceiling, so we designed our sales staff offices to reflect the modern "aluminum and glass' feeling. Overall, we wanted to strike a balance with historical and modern while making the office space updated and functional for our business needs.

Another previous use of the building was the East Street Gym. Current owners Brian Sheffer and Kyle Yost kept the original hardwood floors and the gym logo intact.

What are the most unique aspects about your office space?
When sales representatives come into our office for the first time, they are amazed at how unique it is compared to other modular-style office buildings. We have vibrant colors on the walls throughout both floors and an original torpedo hanging above the front porch entrance honoring the original structure. The business unit locations on two floors allow camaraderie among colleagues while providing easy access for all employees to work together as needed. 

Offices retain an modern feel with aluminum and glass design elements.
What do your employees like best about the office space? En-Net prides itself in having a family culture among our employees. It was important for us to provide an office space reflecting this unique working environment. Our current office provides the appropriate balance of an efficient business operation with an updated and fun decorating style in a convenient location in vibrant downtown Frederick.

Enjoy More Photos of En-Net's Inspiring Office Space

Corrugated metal and artwork balance nicely against the original hardwood floors and a pop of green color. 

Metal mail slots are functional and allow staff to also express their personalities. 

Paintings such as the silhouette of a woman and the faux window scene add an element of fun and whimsy to the office space.

This cheerful office swag is sure to bring a smile to faces.
 Find Your Own Inspiring Office

If you are looking to open or expand a business in Frederick, we can help.  Contact us, and let us help you find your own inspiring office space so you can build your dream. 

If YOU know of any interesting office spaces, let us know and we will put them on our list to feature!

Tech Showcase Focuses on Importance of Research in Frederick

U.S. Congressman John Delaney gives his remarks to the crowd at the 2015 Tech Showcase.

On June 4, 2015, Fort Detrick Alliance hosted its annual Tech Showcase at the Frederick Innovative Technology Center, Inc. (FITCI) in Frederick, Maryland. The event that featured keynote speaker Major General Brian Lein, Commanding General, U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command and Fort Detrick and Deputy for Medical Systems to the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology, and Congressman John Delaney, U.S. Representative Maryland’s 6th District.

“This annual event is an excellent opportunity to learn about the newest technologies to come into the marketplace,” said Fort Detrick Alliance Executive Director Gloria Parsley. 

Fort Detrick Alliance President Tom Gladstone opened the event with a welcome to attendees, followed by remarks from Major General Lein and Congressman Delaney.

“Small business is what runs America,” said Major General Lein as he emphasized that groundbreaking research is done in partnership with the community, including the small businesses that Fort Detrick relies upon for collaboration. Fort Detrick’s research has focused on combat casualty care, Ebola vaccines and therapeutics, and traumatic brain injury (TBI).

In Congressman Delaney’s remarks, he described Fort Detrick as “a singular economic asset” for the region and underscored the importance of the research it conducts. Investing in research is the number one multiplier of any dollar spent, he explained.  For every $1 spent, $2.40 is returned on that investment.

The evening concluded with tours of FITCI, Frederick County’s only business incubator and accelerator.  Attendees had the opportunities to meet with the entrepreneurs currently operating out of FITCI and learn more about their research and technologies.  

City of Frederick Provides Corporate Fitness Membership Program to Reduce Employer Healthcare Costs & Promote A Healthy Workforce

City of Frederick businesses have the opportunity to provide affordable fitness memberships to employees at the William R.Talley Fitness Center. The Corporate Membership program is available to all City businesses and provides discounted memberships to employees. Businesses can cover the costs of membership for their employees or pass along the savings. 

    Wellness Programs Support Lower Healthcare Costs

    Implementing a wellness program, including access to a gym or fitness facility, reduces healthcare costs for employers and demonstrates an investment in an organization's workforce.  According to a Kaiser Family Health study, large firms offering wellness programs reduced employer healthcare costs by $3.27 for each dollar spent on the wellness program.  Additionally, an article published in the Health Affairs Journal indicates that organizations with health promotion programs experienced an overall reduction of approximately 25% in sick leave, health plan costs, and workers compensation and disability costs.

    Corporate Membership Details

    • Employers must pay City taxes and be located within the municipal limits of the City.  Non-profit organizations that do not have government association also qualify.
    • Membership Costs
      • Adult Membership Costs: $21/month ($240 annually)
      • Senior Membership Costs: $16/month ($170 annually)
    •  Qualifying business must provide written request on company letterhead and provide the Fitness Center with an employee list
    The Talley Fitness Center offers a complete assortment of fitness equipment/machines, on-site lockers and shower facilities, and a robust walk-in fitness class schedule.
    For additional information, please contact Fitness Center Supervisor April Kane at 301-600-3848 or akane@cityoffrederick.com.

    This Week on Carroll Creek: Share Your Carroll Creek Photos

    View #iHEARTcarrollcreek photos

    The City of Frederick launched a primary account on Instagram (
    @cityoffrederick) to share and showcase the City’s unique assets visually. 

    To mark the launch, The City of Frederick is asking Frederick area Instagram users to capture and share their favorite photos of Carroll Creek Park using the hashtag #iHEARTcarrollcreek

    The Department of Economic Development is on
    Instagram as @businessinfrederick.
    With construction along Carroll Creek drawing to a conclusion over the upcoming months, sharing favorite Carroll Creek photos is  a way for the community to celebrate together. Select photos with the tag will be shared at the opening events for the new phase of Carroll Creek Park. Details of these events will be announced as construction concludes and plans are finalized.

    The City of Frederick’s primary Instagram account will join the existing City Instagram accounts, including the Department of Economic Development's account, @businessinfrederick

    Marketing Program PR Frederick Wins MEDA Award

     View the MEDA Awards video on the PR Frederick program.
    View the MEDA Awards video featuring the award-winning PR Frederick program.
    PR Frederick, a marketing program jointly managed by the Frederick County Office of Economic Development and the City of Frederick Department of Economic Development, won the top award in the Marketing Category at the 2015 MEDA (Maryland Economic Development Association) Awards ceremony on April 27, 2015. The Frederick County Office of Economic Development was the applicant for the award, which honors organizations achieving significant results from an overall campaign in advertising, marketing, or public relations. 

    PR Frederick is a free service that helps Frederick County businesses increase press outreach and market exposure. On a complimentary basis, Frederick County Economic Development and The City of Frederick Economic Development distribute press releases to an online newswire service. This reaches thousands of media outlets regionally, nationally, and abroad. 

    "Distributing a release via PR Frederick can heighten visibility, competitive edge and multimedia exposure," said City of Frederick Economic Development Director Richard Griffin. 

    To learn more about how PR Web can help your business, visit the PR Frederick page on the City's Department of Economic Development website. 

    For more information, contact the County Office at 301-600-1058 or, if you are a business in The City of Frederick, call 301-600-6360. 

    Left to Right: Ranak Jasani, Miles & Stockbridge P.C., Helen Propheter, Frederick County Office of Economic Development, Keasha Haythe, CEcD, MEDA President

    June 2015 - Downtown Hotel & Conference Center Project Update

    The Downtown Frederick Hotel & Conference Center Project (Hotel Project) continues to advance as legal agreements are negotiated and financing is secured. Continue to follow DED on Facebook and Twitter for the latest project updates.

    A rendering of the Project as viewed from Carroll Creek Linear Park.  Photography courtesy of Plamondon Hospitality Partners, LLC.

    The Latest

    • Completion of Parking Study - Walker Parking Consulting recently completed a comprehensive parking study for the City of Frederick to analyze the projected impact of planned development in Downtown Frederick, including the demand anticipated from the Hotel Project. Findings from the study will be presented at a Mayor & Board workshop on June 10th. A draft report of the study may be accessed here.

    • Finalization of Memorandum of Understanding - The City of Frederick and Plamondon Hospitality Partners continue to advance a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to define the terms of the public-private-partnership. The MOU is anticipated to be approved later this year.

    • Presentation to City & County Elected Officials - On May 27th, the City and County held the first joint meeting between the City's Board of Aldermen and the County's Council.  The City of Frederick's Economic Development Director, Richard Griffin, briefed both entities on the Downtown Hotel & Conference Center project and received positive support from both City and County legislators. The historic first joint meeting was covered by local media, including NBC affiliate WHAG.

    Next Steps

    • Approval of Memorandum of Understanding - The final MOU will be presented to the Mayor & Board for approval later this year.  Completion of the signed MOU will enable the developer (Plamondon Hospitality Partners) to finalize project design and begin entitlements and approvals.
    • Getting the Project "Shovel Ready" - Projects, like this one, go through a process called development entitlements in order for them to be "shovel ready" or ready to construct. The entitlement process refers to the various approvals, permits, and regulatory review needed to move forward. For the Hotel Project, the developer will finalize project design and begin the entitlement process, including necessary approvals from the Planning Commission, Historic Preservation, APFOs, etc. Once started, the process is anticipated to take approximately 12 months.
    • State Investment - $15 million in state investment is needed to help cover the public infrastructure costs of the project.  The Frederick legislative delegation unanimously approved a request for $7.5 million in FY16 with the understanding that an additional $7.5 million would be needed in FY17. While this funding request ultimately was not successful, the Downtown Hotel Advisory Team remains committed to making a new request in the FY2017 budget.  Additionally, the City intends to apply for a Smart Growth Impact Fund grant from the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development to support site acquisition costs.

    About the Project

    The Downtown Frederick Hotel & Conference Center project is proposed as a 207 room full-service Marriott hotel.  The project will feature on-site parking and nearly 24,000 square feet of meeting space and will be located in Downtown Frederick, adjacent to Carroll Creek Park.  For additional project details, please access the Department of Economic Development's Document Center.

    A rendering of the Project as viewed from E. Patrick and N. Carroll Streets.  The Frederick Railroad Company (Trolley) Building will be rehabilitated and incorporated into the overall Project design.  Photography courtesy of Plamondon Hospitality Partners, LLC.