The Taneytown creamery building, located behind Country Kitchen on East Baltimore Street, has sat vacant since 2001 when it was last used as a haunted house.
With its windows missing or covered by plywood and Halloween decor painted on its walls, the brick building isn't much to look at today.
But Taneytown officials see something there. They envision the area as a potential economic driver, if it were to be redeveloped properly.
"It could be significant," said Nancy McCormick, the city's economic development director, of the potential impact on the downtown area. "It really, really is a prime site."
Among the potential uses for the area are a community center with meeting space, a retail building, or a low-income senior housing complex, McCormick said.
What the city will do with the old creamery building, including sell it, is expected to be a topic of discussion for the City Council in coming weeks.
A key aspect to those discussions could hinge on whether the city is awarded a grant to pay for the building's demolition.
The city applied for a grant in 2012 that would cover most, if not all, of the cost for demolition of the building.
But the Maryland Historical Trust disqualified Taneytown for the grant.
The trust reviews federal and state grant applicants to determine whether the actions funded by the grant would harm historical resources, according to Jonathan Sager, a preservation officer with the Maryland Historical Trust.
Although the building itself is not designated as a historic property, it is a contributing element to the Taneytown Historic District, Sager said.
The Historic District nomination from 1986 indicates the significance of the Taneytown district includes commercial and industrial buildings through the 1930s, he said.
"That would include this 1920s industrial building, so it's certainly a contributing element to the Historic District," Sager said.
The city has appealed the decision, according to Mayor Jim McCarron, and expects to hear the result in six to eight weeks.
If the city wins its appeal, McCormick said she intends to reapply for the grant.
"We're trying to get our downtown cleaned up," she said.
According to McCormick, the city has been open to offers to redevelop the property.
But McCarron said no one has approached the city since a bid was put in more than a year ago.
He said the city was looking for it a meeting facility or an all-purpose building, possibly with retail space, to be constructed on the property.
He added that apartments would not be ideal for the city.