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Howard mill grows as tourist mecca
Steven Adler had pretty much planned to retire. When the menswear chain he had built from one local shop into 23 stores was sold in 1993. Adler thought he would collect his loot and spend more time with his family.
But along came Savage Mill, a Howard County historic site that was in dire need of some help. Despite a $12 million renovation effort and 10 years of work, the project to turn the 19th century textile mill into a retail center was saddled with debt, a bankruptcy protection filing and a 40 percent vacancy rate.
"We were behind $400,000 just in operating expenses. We owed everyone locally. We couldn't get a plumber, we couldn't get an electrician, someone to mow the lawn," he said. "If there hadn't been significant improvements, they
might have made the decision to close by the end of '96. I did …