Carvel Hall revitalization project aims to make facility a new agriculture hub on Eastern Shore

CRISFIELD, Md. – “This is good, solid economic development,” State Senator Mary Beth Carozza said.

The historic Carvel Hall manufacturing facility will now be a future agricultural hub for Somerset County.

“We’re going to have a world-class facility. We’re talking about the Hemp industry. We’re talking about the medical cannabis that can grow with the research that we do with UMES to expand in other agriculture areas,” Sen. Carozza said.

“It looks like a utilization of a facility that we needed for a long time that had taken a lot of jobs out of the area when they went out of business,” State Delegate Charles Otto said.

The new owners, Phoenix Real Estate Holdings, say they couldn’t have picked a better place for their project and look forward to the economic impact this will have on the community.

“A place that’s just so beautiful on the map but there aren’t a lot of jobs and opportunities here. This is a place where we could bring something if they would accept it and the community has been so accepting and rallying behind the opportunity for the jobs. So we just want to bring as much as we could to Somerset County,” Owner Nkechi Iwomi said.

I’m told, the most exciting part is the ability to grow these plants indoors and the addition of a revolutionary lighting system.

“What that means is that they will be able to reduce their energy costs by 50%. So this is all happening in Somerset County. This is like a first the nation, first in the world, and it’s happening right here,” Sen. Carozza said.

But it’s more than just growing these plants,  it’s the potential to grow 50 new full time jobs.

“I can see implications across the state of how things can happen to improve the environment and the facilities that have been vacant for a while,” Del. Otto said. “I hope that in 5 years we will have continued our Hemp program that we plan to start next year here. Then, we plan to expand that to be doing cannabis as a part of the Maryland Medical Program as well,” Iwomi said.

This was the inaugural year of the Brownfield Conference. For those unfamiliar with Brownfield Revitalization Programs, they’re intended to promote economic development by identifying and transforming underutilized properties. This gives Carvel Hall new life.

Phoenix Real Estate Holdings tells 47 ABC the revitalization will be a multi-year phased project. They add that they’re currently still waiting for their medical cannabis license to be a part of the medical program.

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