New discount store coming to Hagerstown

September 30, 1997


Staff Writer

A New Jersey discount store company plans to move into the former McCrory's building in downtown Hagerstown.

A D.E. Jones store is expected to open between the end of the year and Feb. 14, 1998, depending on how long it takes to complete renovations on the 52 W. Washington St. building, said Edward Baker, vice president of real estate for D.E. Jones and D&K Stores.

The general merchandise store will sell linens, toys, hosiery, lingerie, baby supplies, stationery and candy. The store will employ between five and 11 full-time workers, Baker said.

Those who live in and around the downtown area seemed pleased by the news.

"I think it's great," said Kenneth Layman, 68, of Walnut Towers.

Layman said he hopes the store will include a restaurant, because he feels there are few affordable places to eat downtown.


Barry Sultzbach agreed, saying he was on his way to a restaurant on Burhans Boulevard to grab something to eat.

"I walk everywhere," said Sultzbach, 56, of North Mulberry Street. Any store would do more to help the downtown than would the new bricks going into Public Square, which is under renovation, he said.

Downtown-area resident Gloria Davis, 40, who has no car, said she frequently shopped and ate at McCrory's before its Highlander Restaurant closed on Feb. 27. The store proper closed about a month later.

D.E. Jones officials have no plans to open a restaurant in the store, but space could be subleased to someone interested in opening an eatery there, Baker said.

As chains such as McCrory's, J.J. Newberry and Woolworth's leave downtowns, they provide an opportunity for D.E. Jones and D&K Stores to recapture those niche markets, Baker said.

City officials had planned to buy the building, but D.E. Jones secured the lease through bankruptcy court, said City Administrator Bruce Zimmerman.

The Hagerstown store was one of 18 former McCrory's buildings for which the company secured leases, Baker said.

D.E. Jones took over the lease for the building in late August. The building is owned by Judith Bernstein, of Portland, Ore., officials said.

The company has 147 stores in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, New Jersey and Delaware, he said.

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