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City may sell Delta building

January 29, 1999

Delta buildingBy DAN KULIN / Staff Writer

photo: JOE CROCETTA / staff photographer




Hagerstown officials are expected to sell the former Delta Hosiery Building at 66-70 W. Washington St. for $40,000 - $115,000 less than what the city paid for the building in 1996.

The developer would spend as much as $300,000 to renovate the building to provide space for retailers, offices and perhaps apartments. Except for a clothing store on part of the ground floor, the building has been vacant for years.

"We would have liked to get our investment back," city Economic Development Coordinator Debbie Everhart said. "But at some point you have to decide, How long do you want it to sit empty or sell it at a reduced rate?"

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The offer from EB Limited Partnership in Williamsport was chosen from among four proposals for rehabilitating the building. Two of the firms entering bids wanted the city to help pay for renovations to the building and a third offered $1 for the property, Everhart said.

In addition to offering the most money for the building, EP Partnership was chosen as the potential buyer because of its record of rehabilitating old buildings, Everhart said.

The partnership owns and has rehabilitated the former Grand Piano & Furniture Co. building, which is on the same block of West Washington Street.

The group plans to spend between $250,000 and $300,000 renovating the former hosiery building, said Richard McCleary, the firm's general partner. McCleary also owns a Williamsport construction company, McCleary & Early Inc.

The renovations would include replacing the plumbing, heating, air conditioning and electrical systems, McCleary said.

Hagerstown City Council members unanimously favored the sale when it was introduced last Tuesday. A final City Council vote on the sale of the building is expected during a Feb. 23 council meeting.

In 1996, the city purchased the beige three-story building next to CVS Pharmacy for $150,000.

The city paid for the building with federal grant money from the Department of Housing and Urban Development's Community Development Block Grant. Because the city used funds from the block grant to buy the building it was required to offer the former owner, Groh Realty Co., the assessed value of the property, said city Community Development Manager George Andreve.

The assessed value was determined by two independent assessments of the property, Andreve said.

The building was and still is vacant except for a clothing store, Nik's Gallery, which takes up about a third of the ground floor of the building.

McCleary said his company would work to keep Nik's Gallery in the building.

McCleary said if the City Council approves the sale he could begin renovations almost immediately, and possibly have tenants in the building before the end of the year.

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