The Washington Post did an article about revitalized downtowns of the region. Much of the focus was on Frederick’s Downtown:
Many of the same forces fueling Washington’s renaissance are driving a small-city boom regionally and nationally. From the historic cities of Alexandria, Annapolis and Leesburg to the newer Metro-centric communities of Bethesda and Clarendon, the desire to live within walking distance of restaurants, bars, theaters and parks has revitalized once-withering downtowns, according to demographers and real estate experts.
Elsewhere, examples of the boom abound: Evanston outside Chicago, Pasadena outside Los Angeles, West Palm Beach outside Miami, said Christopher B. Leinberger, a George Washington University business professor who has studied the trend for years.
In the Washington region, few places have benefited more from the phenomenon than downtown Frederick, where a flourishing restaurant, bar and art scene has transformed the 18th century county seat into a mini-D.C. In the past five years, the city has added 40 businesses to its eclectic downtown, Frederick officials say, and demand for houses in the most walkable parts of the city has pushed up median home prices.
The article also points out some of the things blocking Downtown Frederick and it’s regional counterparts from more growth:
Big housing complexes, large retailers and especially plentiful job opportunities are often scarce in small cities. The regulations that mandate architectural preservation in historic downtowns can also make development difficult or cost-prohibitive.
If you can get through the ad blockade on the Post site go read the article than come back and discuss. It’d be interesting to see what you all think about it.