Phillips Packing Company building could re-open soon

Missing bricks, broken lamps, a deteriorated insulation, there is no doubt that the Phillips Packing Plant in Cambridge is in need of a lot  of work.

"I remember when  it used to be an antique mall in the early part of 2000's, but large chunks of the building  were vacant before that," says Rob Etgen, the Executive Director at  the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy

The almost 100 year old building*has served as a reminder of what the City of Cambridge used to be .

"The Phillips packing factory has been here for decades, and has a strong history in the community, it employed hundred of thousand of people in the city of Cambridge," says Brandon Hesson, the Associate Director of Economic Development at the City of Cambridge.

Which is why state officials and a local non -profit are looking to bring it back to life. The Eastern Shore Land Conservancy and a Baltimore company have laid out an 18.5 million dollar plan to restore it and turn it into a hub for locals.

"The key thing on the first floor is the kitchen incubator  so it's a commercial  kitchen that will stimulate small businesses  around, farming. You know like the farmer that has 50 crates of tomatoes  to come in and make him/her salsa and can it , so they'll be a small scale processing facility for all the products," says Etgen.

We're told the second floor will be used as office space.

"The second floor will have master students , and innovation entities  that are  working on creating new businesses  around farming and forestry," says Etgen.

"The City of Cambridge is really excited by this," says Etgen.

The Eastern Shore Land Conservancy tells us they are roughly 2 million dollars away from sealing the deal with this 2 year long project, however they are optimistic about securing funding and have the building open by Fall 2018.

Categories: Local News, Maryland