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Council votes to sell Delta Building

February 23, 1999|By DAN KULIN /Staff Writer

Hagerstown City Council members unanimously voted Tuesday to sell the former Delta Hosiery Building in downtown Hagerstown for $40,000, which is $115,000 less than what the city paid for the building in 1996.

The offer from EB Limited Partnership in Williamsport was chosen over three other proposals.

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 at 66-70 W. Washington St.

In addition to offering the most money for the building, the partnership was chosen because of its record of rehabilitating old buildings, City Economic Development Coordinator Debbie Everhart said.

The partnership plans to spend between $250,000 and $300,000 renovating the former hosiery building, said Richard McCleary, the firm's general partner.

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

Council members did not comment when they voted on the sale.

After the meeting, Councilman William M. Breichner said the purchase and resale of the property was the right thing to do in the long run.

He said if the city had not bought the property, the building probably would not be slated for redevelopment now.

And by getting the property back on the tax rolls, the city eventually will make up its lost revenue, Breichner said.

The renovations to the former hosiery building will include replacing the plumbing, heating, air conditioning and electrical systems, McCleary said.

The building will have space for retailers, offices and perhaps apartments, he said.

McCleary said his company would work to keep Nik's Gallery in the building. The clothing store, which takes up part of the ground floor, has been the only business in the building since the city took it over.

McCleary said new tenants could be moving into a renovated building before the end of the year.

In 1996, the city used money from a federal grant to buy the building for $155,000.

Grant regulations required the city 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.

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