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The Rosenbaum Renovation Adds Community Value and Opportunity to Downtown Cumberland

Posted on 2/01/2024

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 |  5 min. read

Current renovations will add commercial, retail, and extended stay spaces to Baltimore Street.

Close up picture of the Rosenbaum's logo on the facade of the building in downtown Cumberland.
Named after the Rosenbaum Brothers Department store, "The Rosenbaum" brings new dining, living, and working opportunities to downtown Cumberland.

After years of vacancy, 118 Baltimore Street is now the focus of a transformative renovation in downtown Cumberland. Now known as “The Rosenbaum,” this former department store is being renovated by CG Enterprises into a mixed-use commercial and residential space. The aim is to draw businesses, create jobs, and provide residential living options. Given its central location, The Rosenbaum will serve as a hub where residents, businesses, and tourists intersect, fostering connections and providing a chance to explore and engage with the distinct offerings of Allegany County.

The five-story building, built in 1899, was home to the Rosenbaum Brothers Department store. Owned by Jewish-German immigrants, the store employed 200 people at its peak. Even after its closure in 1971, the site left a lasting impression on Cumberland residents. 

CG Enterprises’ principal team members, Garrett Eagan and Chris Hendershot, remember the building from their childhood in Cumberland. Eagan shares, “My family knows local Cumberland history. Between their stories and seeing the building in paintings of old downtown, Chris and I were aware of the Rosenbaums even though the department store had closed before our time. The building’s facade remains a focal point of Baltimore Street.”

“The Rosenbaum is Baltimore Street's ‘crown jewel.’ It is an impressive space that is special to us and the town of Cumberland.” - Chris Hendershot

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this building was repurposed as an M&T Bank. In 2019, following the bank's departure, M&T Bank negotiated its sale to the City of Cumberland. After the sale, the building remained unoccupied as the City sought a qualified partner to transform the space into a boutique hotel, employing a Request for Proposal (RFP) process to find the right collaborator. 

Familiar with the building’s history and potential, CG Enterprises proposed an alternative mixed-use concept that would attract and converge businesses, locals, and out-of-town guests. CG Enterprises named the building “The Rosenbaum” to honor Cumberland’s rich past and elevate the space's elegance. The team met with members of the Rosenbaum family to get their blessing on the name. “They were very supportive of the project,” Eagan adds. 

The City of Cumberland was confident in the vision and that the team could achieve results after seeing the successful renovation of the McMullen Building down the street. 

Image of the atrium inside The Rosenbaum.
Built in 1899, a highlight of The Rosenbaum's architecture is the glass atrium at the center of the building.

As part of reviving the former grandeur and appeal of the space, the renovations will include:

  • Eight commercial and retail spaces. 
  • 25 residential units, including luxury apartments and short- and long-term stay rooms, to be rented through an online vacation rental broker.
  • Potential top-floor space for a resident fitness center or additional stay rooms.

Construction began in 2022 and is progressing in phases. The initial phase added the first and second-floor retail and commercial spaces so businesses could start establishing their operations. “Now that the first phase is complete, we’re ready to show it off a little, " Hendershot adds.

Allegany County Economic and Community Development (ACECD) granted $250,000 in funding for the renovations from the Invest Allegany initiative. Additionally, the ACECD is aiding The Rosenbaum in finding local businesses interested in renting space.

Construction workers stand around a workspace discussing the details of a project inside The Rosenbaum.
The final phases of construction are estimated to conclude in 2025. Once complete, The Rosenbaum will eventually bring 40-50 jobs to Baltimore Street.
“Every time we turn around, the ACECD team members, Nate, Adam, and Jeff, bring us another potential tenant or idea. They just helped us land a restaurant for the building, which is a big deal for downtown Cumberland.” - Garrett Eagan

Locally owned businesses AJ’s Cookie Jar, a gourmet cookie boutique specializing in French macarons, and Basecamp Coffee are already in operation. Residents can anticipate a women’s retail boutique to be added this spring. 

ACECD facilitated a connection between CG Enterprises and Lefty’s Place, a Detroit-style pizza and wings bar, which they anticipate will be an attractive venue. Lefty’s Place serves pizzas, bar-style snacks, salads, sandwiches, and more in a relaxed yet elevated environment. While the restaurant is a Morgantown, WV staple, the owner is from Westernport, MD, which is 30 minutes outside of Cumberland. “We’re glad they wanted to contribute back to the community,” notes Eagan.

Presently, Edward Jones rents office space on the second floor, and one more business is expected to join the suite soon. 

A barista hands out a cup of coffee behind the counter of Basecamp Coffee inside The Rosenbaum.
The Rosenbaum is the third location for local coffee shop, Basecamp Coffee.

The second building phase, currently in progress, will add nine single-bed residences to the third floor and 12 short- and long-stay rental spaces to the fourth floor. Hendershot and Eagan hope the rental spaces encourage travelers to the region. “With teleworking on the rise, there seems to be a lot of shift from living in metropolitan areas towards the country,” Eagan remarks. “The Rosenbaum is a good place to engage with Cumberland. Many may visit and, as a byproduct, consider putting down roots here.”

All renovations are estimated to conclude in 2025. Once complete, The Rosenbaum will eventually bring 40-50 jobs on Baltimore Street, including internal management positions and cleaning and maintenance crews for the rental spaces. CG Enterprises has strategically selected a strong network of local vendors and partners to retain work in Allegany and facilitate a more profound sense of local pride with The Rosenbaum. Eagan elaborates, “We try to keep that connection so that when the project is done, the workers can come into The Rosenbaum and feel a little bit of ownership and pride in the space.”

“The Rosenbaum is a good place to start engaging with Cumberland. Many may visit and, as a byproduct, consider putting down roots here.” - Garrett Eagan
A chef pipes batter for French macarons in AJ's Cookie Jar, a boutique cookie shop inside The Rosenbaum.
AJ's Cookie Jar is one of The Rosenbaum's established retail vendors and will soon be joined by a women's boutique and other businesses.

The Rosenbaum's primary impact is to provide an accessible space for people to meet, work, and live in Allegany County. “We want to create an ‘ecosystem’ where people can gather with friends, rest from the bike path or other outdoor tourist activities, enjoy local food and vendors, and connect to what makes Cumberland unique,” impresses Hendershot.

Eagan adds, “It’s a connection point for people who live here and those visiting to experience Cumberland’s local flavor and acts as a gateway to the rest of Allegany County. This is another way to showcase the value that the area offers.” 

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