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Bank moving into Clock Building

February 10, 1997

By JULIE E. GREENE

Staff Writer

First United National Bank & Trust will expand its Washington County operations by opening an office in the Clock Building in downtown Hagerstown in September, bank officials said Monday.

Work on the Clock Building next to the Elizabeth Hager Center in Public Square could begin within a week, said Kurt Cushwa, the project's developer.

First United's trust and commercial loan departments will operate out of the building, employing about six people, said William B. Grant, the bank's board chairman and chief executive officer.

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"We're growing, so we need more office space. We want to be part of Hagerstown. We're in the suburbs. We want to be downtown," said Larry A. Thornton, trust officer for the bank.

The bank, with branches in West Virginia and Maryland, has four offices in Washington County - on Frederick Street, in the Valley Park Martin's, in the Dual Highway Martin's and in Smithsburg, Grant said.

The Clock Building is not the elevator and stair tower in the vacant lot on the northeast corner of Public Square, but a building yet to be built and renovated, Cushwa said in the neighboring 'Round the Square restaurant, where the announcement was made Monday.

Once complete, the Clock Building will wrap around the corner, including 6-8 E. Washington St. and a vacant lot to its west.

Cushwa and his wife, Peggy, are buying the vacant lot and adjacent building from the City of Hagerstown for $50,000. They also are paying the city $53,600 for half the cost of the elevator and stair tower that was built to be shared by the Clock and Hager Center buildings.

The Cushwas are scheduled to pay the $103,600 to the city in monthly payments over 20 years at 9 percent interest.

The bank will lease the building's first and second floors for five to 30 years.

Kurt Cushwa said he is talking with some out-of-town law firms about leasing the third and fourth floors.

The 161-year-old Town Clock, which once kept time in the tower of the old City Hall, will be the centerpiece of the building at 10 Public Square.

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