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Brokerage firm consolidating offices

November 21, 1997

By JULIE E. GREENE

Staff Writer

Wheat First Butcher Singer plans to consolidate its two downtown Hagerstown offices into a larger one off Eastern Boulevard by May 1, the firm's managing director said Friday.

The brokerage firm has outgrown its smaller offices at 33 W. Franklin St. and 6 W. Washington St., Jim Holzapfel said.

The firm's number of employees has almost doubled in the last six years, Holzapfel said. Wheat First has about 21 full- and part-time employees in the city, he said.

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Wheat First will lease a 6,120-square-foot building on roughly an acre at 1145 Professional Court near FirstLook Photo for at least five years, officials said.

Developer Richard McCleary said earlier this month the one-story, brick building will cost about $600,000. McCleary & Earley Inc. will build the offices and McCleary will own the building, he said.

The Hagerstown Planning Commission will consider approving the site plan for the building and giving final approval for the subdivision at its 7 p.m. meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 10, said Matt Davis, a city planner.

Holzapfel said officials tried to find a suitable space downtown, but it was tough to find 6,000 square feet on one floor downtown.

Customers also will have more convenient parking at the Professional Court site, he said.

The Richmond, Va.-based brokerage firm will have changed names to Wheat First Union by the time it opens at its new Hagerstown office, Holzapfel said. The firm is merging with First Union, which is based in Charlotte, N.C., he said.

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