Washington County - The Year Ahead

December 31, 1998

Washington County - The Year Ahead

Franklin Co. | Hagerstown | Washington Co. | Eastern Panhandle

TruServBy Scott Butki / Staff Writer

photo: JOE CROCETTA / staff photographer

Four assisted living facilities, a new highway interchange, an agricultural museum and lots more shopping are in store for Washington County in 1999.


In the fall the number of movie screens in Washington County will double as a 16-screen megaplex opens at the expanded Valley Mall.


The megaplex is part of a $43 million expansion, which will also include a food court, an expansion of The Bon-Ton and a new Hecht's store.

The mall is owned by Crown American Realty Trust of Johnstown, Pa. Some stores will be relocated this month. All of the work is scheduled to be finished in the fall.

New stores expected to move in are Old Navy, The Gap, Disney Store, Foot Action, Lady Footlocker, Kings Jeweler and Northern Reflections, which sells women's sweaters.

Construction on the megaplex begins this month. R/C Theatres of Reisterstown, Md., will operate the new theater. It replaces the three-screen theater operated by Carmike Cinema.

In two weeks, construction is expected to begin on another major shopping center, the Centre at Hagerstown at Interstate 81 and U.S. 40.

The center will have a Wal-Mart Supercenter, Home Depot, Border's Books &Music, Circuit City and Pier 1 Imports, among others.

The $50 million center is being built by Petrie, Dierman and Kughn of McLean, Va. It will open in 2000.

Also new in 1999 will be a Cracker Barrel, Waffle House and 98-room Sleep Inn south of Hagerstown.

The three businesses will be on Colonel Henry K. Douglas Drive, off of Sharpsburg Pike. Construction of the restaurants will start in early 1999 and the work on the hotel will begin in April, if the county approves all plans.

Prime Retail plans to open Phase III of its popular Prime Outlets at Hagerstown.

Officials have not indicated which stores will be included in the next phase but say there will be at least 20 more stores, for a total of more than 100 businesses.

Greencastle Development Co. of Annapolis is building a $35 million to $40 million shopping center south of Valley Mall. Construction of the Crosspoint Shopping Center will start this winter and take about one year.

The 400,000-square-foot center will have nine nationally known anchor stores, including a large discount store, a supermarket, a clothing store and an electronics store, said Chris Bell, the company president. Bell

Economic Development

Phoenix Color Corp. is turning an 80-acre farm northwest of the Hagerstown Regional Airport into a $100 million book manufacturing complex that will create more than 600 jobs.

Construction of a 165,000-square-foot paperback book printing and bindery plant is under way and the company expects to start shipping books by June, said Louis LaSorsa, the company chief executive.

PenMar Development Corp. is continuing to transform Fort Ritchie into the Lakeside Corporation Center. The Army closed the 638-acre base on Oct. 1, 1998.

The Washington County Economic Development Commission continues drawing companies to Hopewell Valley, said Tom Riford, commission marketing director.

Hopewell includes Newgate Industrial Park, Crossroad Corporate Center and Hunters Green Business Park.

This month, CertainTeed Corp. will complete its move into a 100,000-square-foot building in Newgate park, Riford said.

The company, which makes vinyl siding and other products, will use the building for distribution, Riford said.

TruServ, the nation's largest hardware store chain, recently finished building a 860,000-square-foot distribution center in the Hunters Green park, he said.

The company has hired about 200 employees but is expected to hire 100 to 150 more in early 1999, he said.

Much of the work planned at Hopewell, including the extension of Halfway Boulevard to Md. 63 and construction of Newgate Boulevard, depends on how many companies move in and when, county officials said.

There is no time frame for the road extension.

Donald M. Bowman, chairman of the Bowman Development Corp. and president of D.M. Bowman Inc. trucking, said he plans to open a travelers plaza at Hopewell Road and Halfway Boulevard.

The gas station for cars and diesel trucks will also sell food from at least one fast food restaurant, Bowman executives said.

The company also plans to open an 80-room Holiday Inn Express Center near the Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel on Underpass Way in Hagerstown, Bowman said.

Both projects are tentatively scheduled to begin mid-year, he said. They were delayed while the company waited for improvements to be completed at the Halfway Boulevard-Interstate 81 interchange, Bowman said.

At the Hagerstown Regional Airport a $966,000 rehabilitation of a taxiway is expected to begin in March, said Carolyn Motz, airport manager.

Construction also will start in March on the replacement of the airport's snow equipment building, which will cost about $820,000, she said.

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