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N Mechanic Street Welcomes New Residential Opportunities

Posted on 6/20/2024

594 words

 |  3 min. read

Downtown Cumberland Sees New Apartments Through Invest Allegany Grant Funding

Interior With Connie And John N Mechanic Story
Connie LePrevost, left, and John Macy, right, stand in the kitchen in one of their newly renovated apartments on Mechanic Street.

As Allegany County continues to develop and expand, the demand for residential housing options grows. Responding to this need, the Allegany County Economic and Community Development (ACECD) Invest Allegany grant program provides a financial conduit to spur adaptive reuse projects in the county’s downtown and main street areas. The program incentivizes the conversion of vacant or underutilized downtown spaces into viable mixed-use properties to help create housing options and boost business.

N Mechanic Street, a principal thoroughfare alongside downtown Cumberland’s Wills Creek, will soon host three new apartments in upper-level space that had previously been commercial offices using funding from Invest Allegany. The building is under refurbishment by the North Mechanic, LLC. team, John Macy and Constance (Connie) LePrevost.  

Exterior Of The Building N Mechanic Story
The building on N Mechanic Streets is within a short walk of downtown, but situated along Wills Creek. The downstairs commercial space offers new opportunities for local businesses as well.

Macy and LeProvost purchased the nearly 60-year-old commercial building in 2017 to establish their office in one of the building’s lower-level business spaces. In 2022, the team decided to renovate the upper-story office spaces into quality apartment units for Cumberland residents.

“Living in downtown Cumberland has transformed. There are more restaurant options and a growing social and arts scene. We know there is a demand for nice rental properties within walking distance of the downtown area and the Great Allegany Passage Trail,” said Macy. “The exciting revitalization on Baltimore Street and the other center streets is sure to drive more people to live there, and we thought it was a good time to make use of this property.” 

“Since the COVID-19 pandemic, Allegany has had a good market, but there is a shortage of quality rental units across the county, especially in the downtown areas.” - John Macy, Owner of the N Mechanic Street property.

The team discovered the Invest Allegany program through meetings with the ACECD. Macy emphasizes, “If you don’t take advantage of what is available to you, you won’t get it. It was an easy application process, and we were fortunate to be awarded funding, which has been a big help in making this project a reality.”

Adam Strott, ACECD’s Economic Development Specialist, highlights the project's importance: “This renovation is exactly the type of project that the Invest Allegany grant was made for. Rather than let the building's potential stagnate, John and Connie put to work a vision for the community. The ACECD was happy to support the project, and we think it will add value for Cumberland residents.” 

Working with Chaney Architects Construction and Development, a local architecture firm, and B Dayton Construction, the team designed and renovated three one-bedroom apartment units at 134 N Mechanic Street. Improvements to the space included a new roof, HVAC systems, and electric work. 

Apartment Kitchen And Living N Mechanic Story
The renovated apartments boast new appliances and a modern, open concept. Kitchen and living space seamlessly blend together.

Allegany County is experiencing a considerable demand for housing. As job opportunities increase in the area, residents remain here to pursue their careers. At the same time, many out-of-county citizens relocate to the area for its proximity to notable outdoor recreation sites.

Macy emphasizes, “We see a lot of people wanting to relocate here from the Washington, D.C., and Baltimore metropolitan areas to experience what we have to offer — the mountains, rivers, and a less stressful lifestyle than in other areas.”

“The more our community continues to revitalize spaces like the N Mechanic Street property, the more we can address the housing needs and improve our valuable downtown and main street spaces,” adds Strott. 

Apartment Bed And Bath N Mechanic Story
Clean and modern design elements are incorporated into the apartments, which also feature new heating and cooling, for added comfort.

Seventeen months into the project, Connie and John are pleased to announce that they are taking the final steps to complete the apartment units. The team is also looking for additional tenants for the building's lower-level business space.

“We’re excited about where the area is going and are excited to be a part of the change that is taking place in Cumberland,” finished Macy.

For more news about Invest Allegany Project, click here.

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