Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Made in Frederick: Dragon Distillery Offers First Spirits in Frederick

Dragon Distillery became Frederick's first distillery within the City in 2016. 
In The City of Frederick, local businesses make and manufacture their own products. From popcorn and coffee to dog treats, many businesses are choosing Frederick as a place to make their products and to do business. Made in Frederick is a feature that showcases these businesses and their products. 

Made in Frederick: Dragon Distillery 
Founded in late 2014 with a grand opening in early 2016, Dragon Distillery is Frederick's first small-craft distillery in the city. Located directly across from the airport, they specialize in small batch artisan spirits, made from the finest locally-sourced ingredients in a sustainable and environmentally friendly manner. Their belief in individuality, creativity, and innovation shines through in their product as well as their medieval-themed decor. They are members of the American Distilling Institute, Maryland Distillers Guild and the Frederick Chamber of Commerce.

In addition to production, Dragon Distillery has a tasting room. Visitors can tour and taste their products on-site. Visit their website for details. 

Dragon Distillery owner Mark Lambert shared some thoughts about Frederick and his distillery.  

Q&A With Dragon Distillery Owner, Mark Lambert
Dragon Distillery offers tours and tastings
Friday-Sunday. Visit their website for
What are your products?

Joust Gin, Clustered Spires Vodka, Bad Bill Tutt Moonshine
What differentiates your products from others? 

We are Frederick City’s first craft distillery. We use locally-sourced products, and hand-craft each batch.
What should customers know about your products? 

We are committed to producing exceptional local spirits. We encourage customers to stop by the distillery to learn about our process, and taste our products
What does Frederick offer a company like yours? 

My family settled in the Frederick area in the mid 1700s. I think Frederick is an exceptional city, and a wonderful destination. The city and residents have been extremely supportive and welcoming. We really appreciate all of the support for our distillery.

If You Go

Dragon Distillery is open Friday, Saturday and Sundays. Check with Dragon Distillery directly for most recent hours of operation.

Friday: 4pm – 7pm
Saturday: noon – 6pm
Sunday: noon – 4pm
Other times by appointment

Tours are offered on the half-hour, and cost $5 per person. This includes the tour, tastings, and a souvenir shot glass.

1341 Hughes Ford Road, Suite 108
Frederick, MD 21701 
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Medieval-themed decor sets the tone in Dragon's tasting room.

The cauldron-like still, the Figgins Reciprocator, is nicknamed “Smaug.” 

Clustered Spires Vodka, named in tribute to the City of Frederick – the City of Clustered Spires, is clean and crisp. They recommend it for sipping, or as the base of your favorite cocktail.
Dragon Distillery grand opening on February 13, 2016.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

City of Frederick Bond Rating Upgraded Following 2016 Bond Tour

The City of Frederick received an upgraded rating from Standard & Poors (S&P) to AA+ with a stable outlook, following an evaluation last month.  Analysts from each of three major bond rating agencies (Fitch, Moody's, and S&P) toured The City of Frederick in late February to supplement their research and learn about the current and future investment activity within the City.

Read on for a summary of commercial development activity within The City of Frederick and highlighted trend data from the materials shared with each rating agency.

  • Positive population growth
  • Stabilized and increasing housing values
  • Strong business growth
    • Bio/lifesciences and advanced technology
    • Healthcare, services, retail
  • Fort Detrick and National Cancer Institute
  • National Interagency Biodefense campus
  • Construction of new USAMRIID Laboratory
  • Downtown Frederick
    • Completion of Carroll Creek Linear Park (Phase II)
    • Rehabilitative and infill projects 
  • Golden Mile
    • Redevelopment of Frederick Towne Mall
  • East Frederick
    • Small Area Plan development and planned residential and commercial taking shape

Analysts were provided with a directory of commercial development projects in various stages of construction within The City of Frederick.  A complete listing is available for download below.
Access the links below for the complete development directory and bond briefing presentation:

Download - Development Directory (PDF)
Download - Bond Briefing Presentation (PDF)

City's Economic Development Advisory Council Reviews 2016 Work Plan

Appointed and ex-officio members of the Ad Hoc Economic Development Advisory Council and staff stand for a photo at the September 2015 EDAC meeting.
The City of Frederick Economic Development Advisory Council (EDAC) meets quarterly to provide guidance on a variety of economic matters including the annual economic development work program, regulatory policy, business incentives and programs, and other special issues.  In 2016, EDAC will address a specific topic at each quarterly meeting:
  • 1st Quarter - Economic development work plan & budget
  • 2nd Quarter - Business impediments and updates to work completed to remove impediments
  • 3rd Quarter - Business support programs and incentives
  • 4th Quarter - Special projects, vision, and business infrastructure  
Most recently, members of EDAC provided assistance with the Department of Economic Development's (DED) 2016 Work Plan. 

In conjunction with the unveiling of an annual work plan, DED introduced a revised mission statement and key concepts for the department:

Mission Statement - The City of Frederick Department of Economic Development (DED) strives to increase economic opportunity in Frederick by supporting and promoting a community where businesses and residents can thrive.

Key Concepts - DED is focused on supporting a thriving community based on the following initiatives:
  • Marketing Frederick to the business community to attract employment and investment
  • Providing and connecting businesses to available resources and services
  • Developing policies and programs to strengthen Frederick's competitiveness

Residents – Economic Development benefits City residents both directly and indirectly:
  • Jobs – Employers provide jobs with family supporting wages and benefits
  • Tax base – Nearly 30% of the taxes paid are by commercial entities
    • Businesses share the tax burden with residents
    • Additional tax revenues provide a high-level of City services (i.e. each additional $100,000 in annual tax contributions equates to a new police officer position)
  • Businesses provide access to services and goods (i.e. shopping, dining, services)
  • Community health – A strong economy and employment base lowers crime rates, foreclosures, etc.
  • Special projects – DED provides support to projects including Carroll Creek Park and the Downtown Hotel & Conference Center
  • Grants – DED grant writing efforts offset City investment and thereby reducing citizen contributions
  • Entrepreneurial support – Providing targeted support to citizens interested in starting a business
  • Community pride – DED marketing and communications contribute to positive promotion of the community and increase pride in Frederick

City Expands Off-site Office Hours to Help Local Businesses

A view of the Golden Mile and the future Frederick Towne Center. The Department of Economic Development is expanding its office hours to include hours at the Way Off Broadway Theatre beginning on April 21, 2016.
Staff from the City of Frederick's Department of Economic Development (DED) began to pilot off-site office hours in February 2015. The goal for holding office hours is to provide additional opportunities to connect with entrepreneurs, start-ups, and small businesses in convenient locations throughout the community.  

The pilot program initially included office hours at Frederick's high-technology business incubator (FITCI) and in Downtown at Cowork Frederick. The program is now expanding to the Golden Mile with hours planned for the third Thursday of the month at the Way Off Broadway Theatre beginning on Thursday, April 21 from 1-3 p.m.

In addition to office hours, City economic development staff is always available to meet with businesses by appointment.  

Office Hour Locations & Information
Be sure to follow DED on Facebook at Twitter for updates to scheduled office hours.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Golden Mile Business Facades Shine a Little Brighter

In collaboration with The City of Frederick, Golden Mile Alliance, and Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), three businesses along the Golden Mile received facade improvement grants to enhance the image and improve the economic vitality of the corridor.

The City of Frederick received $100,000 from the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development to support an expanded facade improvement program along the Patrick Street corridor.  The corridor encompasses businesses within the Golden Mile, Downtown Frederick, and East Frederick.

The Golden Mile Alliance Design Committee approved facade improvement grants for Casa Rico, Petersen's Carpet & Flooring and Vista Shops at Golden Mile. 

The facade improvement program will continue in 2016 as The City of Frederick was recently awarded funding for FY2016 by DHCD.  Additional communication, including a call for applications will be provided once funding is made available.

For additional information on the Golden Mile facade improvement program, visit the Golden Mile Alliance website.

Casa Rico
Before                 After  
Repair included a new sign, fresh paint for exterior including the roof and gutter replacement.

Petersen's Carpet
Before             After
Improvements included new stairs and railings, lighting, planter boxes, window casings and a vestibule entrance.

 Before             After
Improvements included fresh paint,graffiti removal, and new paint color.