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Center Street store would serve seniors

January 11, 1998

Center Street store would serve seniors

By JULIE E. GREENE

Staff Writer

A neighborhood store that would deliver groceries to senior citizens is among cases the Hagerstown Board of Zoning Appeals will consider this month.

The Washington County Human Development Council wants to open a neighborhood store at 401 Center St., where the former Gossard's store closed about two years ago, said Executive Director Ron Harsh.

The council's mentally and physically disabled clients could competitively apply for on-the-job training at the store before moving on to other jobs, Harsh said.

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The store could help fill a void left when Martin's moved from the Ames Shopping Center to Hagerstown Commons in March 1995.

Harsh said senior citizens in the Alexander House, Potomac Towers and Walnut Towers, as well as residents in the immediate area of the store, could call for delivery.

The store would start off with an inventory of nonperishable items as well as bread, milk and eggs, and be expanded to include other products and services in the future, Harsh said.

If the Center Street store is successful, Harsh said he wants to open a satellite store downtown. From there, satellite stores could be opened throughout Washington County.

The store on Center Street could open as early as March 1, he said.

It would be operated by two council staff members and two to four council clients, Harsh said. Clients would probably be rotated through the store so many of them can get job experience.

The council needs a special exception to open the store since the area is zoned residential, said Matt Davis, a city planner. While a grocery store isn't on the list of possible uses allowed by a special exception, the appeal could be granted because the store would be a training ground, Davis said.

The zoning meeting will be at 7 p.m. Jan. 21 in the second-floor Council Chambers at City Hall.

The appeals board also will hear a case for a pizza restaurant and a carpet, upholstery and furniture design shop.

Tri-State Upholstery & Interiors at 10306 Sharpsburg Pike needs more space, said Tom Nicoletti, who owns the business with his wife, Jill.

Nicoletti will ask the appeals board to continue allowing a nonconforming use in a residentially-zoned neighborhood so he can move the business to the former Ted's Rent-It Center.

The rent-it center moved to 17827 Virginia Ave. on July 1.

The Nicolettis plan to buy the former rent-it center at 519 and 523 N. Locust St. to quadruple the store's size, Tom Nicoletti said.

The business would be expanded into a design center, he said.

Services and products would include wallpaper, mini blinds, vertical blinds, window treatments, draperies, carpeting for residential and commercial use, hardwood flooring, vinyl and tile flooring, and the complete restoration of antique furniture, including stripping and refinishing, Nicoletti said.

With the store expanding to 12,000 square feet, the business would add on six employees to employ nine people, he said.

The appeals board will hear another request to continue a nonconforming use in a residential neighborhood for a pizza and salad restaurant that also would provide carry-out food and beer at 1301 Marshall St., according to the Planning Department.

Javid Hakakian, of 17107 Snyder's Landing west of Sharpsburg, has applied for the zoning change, according to the department.

The Marshall Street store used to be Bob and Cora's Corner Store, Davis said.

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