Cambridge To Transform Sailwinds Property To Boost Downtown - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Cambridge To Transform Sailwinds Property To Boost Downtown

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CAMBRIDGE, Md. - Revitalization efforts in Cambridge are well underway.

If you ask Larry Robinson what downtown Cambridge was like fifteen years ago, he describes it as, "run-down."

Fast forward to 2013, it's a whole other story.

"They're getting facelifts on buildings, paint, and opening up some stores. It's more modern than it was back then," he said.

Just this year, a total of 19 retailers and restaurants have either opened or expanded --including Sur Jeudi, a children's store that opened two weeks ago.

"We decided to do it now while we see the growth because we see so much potential in the town," owner Ashley Banks said.

From streetscape improvements to sidewalk upgrades, the city is running a number of revitalization initiatives. The facade program allows property and business owners to get a 50-65 percent reimbursement for exterior improvements. The neat street initiative is an effort in which volunteers get together to pull out weeds from the sidewalks and curbs.

But one of the biggest projects the city is working on is what leaders are calling the gateway to downtown Cambridge. The plan is to transform the Sailwinds property into a mixed use development with a public promenade, retail stores, restaurants, residential space and possibly a boutique hotel. The property is the first thing you see when you cross the Choptank River bridge on Route 50. The project is expected to take approximately five to fifteen years. The first step in transforming it is replacing the wharf. City leaders say the state has allocated $2.5 million to help get that started.

"It will help to tie, make connections to the downtown --from Route 50 to the waterfront and to the downtown, which is the key to everything," Associate Director of Economic Development Mary Calloway said.

The next neat street effort is scheduled for December 7. For more information on the city's façade program and other downtown initiatives, click here.

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