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Construction date set for new shopping center

October 27, 1998

By JULIE E. GREENE / Staff Writer

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An Annapolis firm expects to begin construction by the end of January on a proposed $35 million to $40 million shopping center south of Valley Mall, a company official said Monday.

The Crosspoint Shopping Center would have nine nationally known anchor stores including a large discount store, a supermarket, a clothing store and an electronics store, said Chris Bell, president of Greencastle Development Co.

"We have the best location in town," Bell said.

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In addition to being highly visible from I-81, the retail area benefits from the expanding Valley Mall, he said.

Greencastle's cost for the project is $20 million, with another $15 million to $20 million from some tenants that would build their own stores, Bell said.

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The shopping center would be laid out in three separate sections rather than being a long strip shopping center, according to a proposed site plan.

Construction on the approximately 400,000-square-foot shopping center is expected to take a year, Bell said.

The shopping center would go on a 51-acre parcel along Interstate 81 between the mall and Hickory Elementary School, Bell said.

Hekbel Limited Liability Corp. owns some of the land and has a contract to buy the remaining acreage from FMW Partnership, which was unsuccessful in trying to develop the land for residential use, Bell said. Greencastle is the lead developer in the Hekbel partnership.

Washington County planning officials have preliminarily approved the site plan for the project, requiring the firm to create a buffer of trees between the school and shopping center, said Washington County Planning Director Bob Arch.

The project has not been scheduled for final site plan approval and some major hurdles must be cleared, Arch said.

Those hurdles include the relocation of Cole Road, the extension of the four-lane Massey Boulevard and preparation of a stormwater management plan, Arch said.

The shopping center would be accessed by Cole Road or Massey Boulevard, Bell said.

Cole Road would be moved south to accommodate the Hecht's store and the parking spaces being added to Valley Mall, according to Bell and the site plan.

Officials with Crosspoint and the mall are negotiating who would pay for the Cole Road relocation, said Washington County Senior Planner Tim Lung.

Massey Boulevard would be extended, crossing an active railroad track, to join Virginia Avenue just east of the Church of God, according to the Washington County Planning Department.

Massey Boulevard would cross the railroad tracks at street level, requiring expensive gates and lights, Lung said. Crosspoint would be responsible for extending Massey Boulevard, he said.

The proposed site plan includes two smaller buildings, including a bank, on parcels along the Massey Boulevard expansion.

More than 2,300 parking spaces are proposed for the shopping center, according to the site plan.

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