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2023 Building Blocks Grant Awardees Announced

2023 Building Blocks Grant Awardees Announced

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The City of Brunswick and Brunswick Main Street are thrilled to announce the winners of this year’s Brunswick Building Blocks Grant funding, the City’s latest proactive effort to promote small business entrepreneurship and kickstart economic revitalization in this historic railroad town.

“The City believes that investing in our buildings is the wisest investment we can make in revitalizing Brunswick.” – Julie Martorana, Brunswick City Administrator

The Building Blocks Grant Program began in 2022 using federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to focus on addressing the health, welfare, and safety of downtown buildings. It led to increased investment in key projects such as the renovation of the Newberry Building, which will provide a net gain of five new commercial spaces on Brunswick’s historic main street.

Building on this success, this year’s Building Blocks Grants Program was funded with $100,000 given to Brunswick Main Street from the City of Brunswick’s budget along with $200,000 from the State of Maryland in the form of a DGS Grant (Supplemental Budget No. 2 to HB200/SB181 – 6/30/2024).

City Administrator Julie Martorana noted, “as our applications showed, many of our commercial properties are at least one hundred years old. The City believes that investing in our buildings is the wisest investment we can make in revitalizing Brunswick.”

In 2023, the program was expanded to make all businesses within the City limits with less than fifteen employees and only one location eligible. The program provides a one-time award for infrastructure improvements valued between $50,000.00 and $300,000.00 that would have a major impact on a building’s usability and marketability.

The following projects have been chosen to receive 2023 Building Blocks awards:

  • Mooseheart Lofts, LLC    401 E. Potomac St., Brunswick, MD    $23,540    Foundation reinforcement and exterior wall stabilization.
  • Newberry Building (Eric Lindland and Machelle Lee)30-34 W. Potomac St., Brunswick, MD    $25,000Replace second-story windows to improve the building’s energy efficiency and install an integrated fire alarm system to meet current safety codes.
  • Steadman-Keenan American Legion Post 96    18 S. Maple Ave., Brunswick, MD    $50,000New HVAC system.
  • The Hive Cake Shop (Rebekah Ontiveros)    318 Petersville Rd., Brunswick, MD    $60,000Roof and gable replacement and HVAC installation.
  • Five Dances Wellness (Samantha Francis)    8 S. Maryland Ave., Brunswick, MD    $61,460Create off-street parking and ADA-compliant office entrance, bathroom, and treatment room for multi-disciplinary wellness practice.
  • Puerto Rico Distillery (Crystal Rivera)    402 Fifth Ave., Brunswick, MD    $80,000Construction of a distillery and event space that will attract visitors and serve as a community gathering place.

About the City of BrunswickThe City of Brunswick is located in south-western Frederick County along the Potomac River, the C & O National Historic Park, and the MARC train line. Proud of its historic contribution as a railroad and canal hub to Frederick County’s growth and development, Brunswick continues to attract commercial and residential growth with its easy proximity to urban centers, beautiful natural resources, award-winning schools, and small-town charm.

About Brunswick Main StreetBrunswick Main Street is part of Main Street America, a program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation that supports communities in their efforts to revitalize struggling downtowns while retaining their unique, historic characters. Dedicated to the economic success of its downtown, Brunswick Main Street, created in 2004, works to revitalize the charm and history and show residents and visitors why Downtown Brunswick is a great place to live, work, shop and play. To learn more about Brunswick Main Street and how you can get involved, please visit brunswickmainstreet.org.

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