Sen. Cardin vis­its Phillips Pack­ing Plant

Dorchester Star - - Regional - By SARAH DRURY sdrury@ches­

CAMBRIDGE — Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., vis­ited the re­vi­tal­iza­tion of the for­mer Phillips Pack­ing Com­pany in Cambridge on Fri­day, March 10, for a tour of the build­ing and a dis­cus­sion about the His­toric Tax Credit re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion project.

Cardin was joined by rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Preser­va­tion Mary­land and the Eastern Shore Land Con­ser­vancy, who are spear­head­ing the project and also voiced their sup­port Fri­day for main­tain­ing and im­prov­ing the fed­eral His­toric Tax Credit pro­gram.

Cardin an­nounced his in­tro­duc­tion of the His­toric Tax Credit Im­prove­ment Act, which would make changes to the pro­gram fo­cused on in­creas­ing ef­fi­ciency and mak­ing the credit more valu­able to smaller “Main Street”-type projects in Mary­land and around the na­tion.

The Pack­ing House project re­cently was awarded a $3 mil­lion tax credit for re­vi­tal­iza­tion of a struc­ture lo­cated within an un­der­served com­mu­nity.

“As we stand in the last re­main­ing fac­tory of what was a 60-acre cam­pus of Phillips Pack­ing Com­pany that em­ployed thou­sands and fed our troops dur­ing the world wars, I re­flect on the Phillips Com­pany slo­gan: ‘What Cambridge makes, makes Cambridge,’” said Katie Parks, Cen­ter for Towns di­rec­tor at ESLC.

Ac­cord­ing to a press re­lease from ESLC and Preser­va­tion Mary­land, the HTC has cre­ated 2.3 mil­lion jobs, lever­aged $117 bil­lion in in­vest­ment and re­ha­bil­i­tated more than 41,250 build­ings over the past 36 years.

This credit also is re­spon­si­ble for mil­lions of dol­lars in com­pleted and on­go­ing pri­vate re­vi­tal­iza­tion projects, in­clud­ing the Phillips Pack­ing House project in Cambridge. The re­pur­posed struc­ture of this build­ing will be called the Pack­ing House and will serve as an ac­tive, mixe­duse de­vel­op­ment de­signed to sup­port the lo­cal food econ­omy and the emerg­ing in­dus­tries re­lated to food and farm­ing.

“Our strength, our vi­tal­ity is food pro­duc­tion, our farms and our fish­eries,” Parks said. “Just as the Pack­ing House once an­chored the world’s food pro­cess­ing in­dus­try, it will again be an an­chor for the next gen­er­a­tion of food and farm­ing re­lated in­no­va­tion.”

The food com­po­nent, which in­cludes a shared kitchen and in­cu­ba­tor, an oys­ter bay, a food mar­ket and a butch­ery, will build off the Eastern Shore’s agri­cul­tural re­sources and grow­ing lo­cal food econ­omy to cre­ate a food and farm­ing ex­change.

The Pack­ing House, Parks said, is part of a larger re­vi­tal­iza­tion strat­egy re­ferred to as the Pack­ing District, which in­cludes the Pack­ing House, the ad­ja­cent Can­nery Park and the fac­tory hous­ing in the Pine Street neigh­bor­hood.

“I hope you all have a chance to see this in­cred­i­ble struc­ture and un­der­stand its his­tory,” Cardin said. “But more im­por­tant un­der­stand the fu­ture.”

Cardin said none of this could be done with­out lo­cal part­ners.

He spent a mo­ment talk­ing about the HTC and said he wants ex­pand it be­cause it is so crit­i­cally im­por­tant.

“At one time, there could have been as many as 10,000 jobs here,” Cardin said. “That’s amaz­ing, but by the use of the cre­ativ­ity that is in this room, the tools that we have avail­able, we’re go­ing to bring jobs back to this lo­ca­tion. That ... is very ex­cit­ing be­cause it is about, first and fore­most, eco­nomic growth.”

Cardin said this place have a fu­ture and it sounds like a place to have fun and will im­prove the qual­ity of life in the area. It is some­thing, he said, that will lure in peo­ple from out­side of the area to en­joy, also.

“It’s more than just bring­ing in eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity. It’s about what kind of com­mu­nity we want to have here in the fu­ture,” Cardin said.


Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., vis­its Cambridge’s Phillips Pack­ing Plant on Fri­day, March 10, to tour the build­ing and dis­cuss the Pack­ing House, which is a His­toric Tax Credit re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion project.

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