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City may be asked to provide office parking

September 05, 2000

City may be asked to provide office parking



By DAN KULIN / Staff Writer


The City of Hagerstown probably will be called on to provide parking spaces to accommodate a proposed downtown office building, Councilman Lewis C. Metzner said after a Tuesday presentation by the developer.

Exactly what the city's role will be is not known. The developer, Marc Silverman of Rockville, Md., requested future talks about the parking situation be done behind closed doors.

Silverman is proposing that three buildings on the first block of South Potomac Street be demolished and a four-story office building be built on top of two levels of underground parking.

Those two levels would provide 113 parking spaces, but Silverman said the building needs about 300 parking spaces to be successful

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Silverman said he and the Mayor and City Council could talk about the parking situation further, "but not in a public forum."

"Clearly he's looking to us to provide about 200 parking spaces," Metzner said. "You're not going to have what he is proposing without more parking spaces."

A survey done last fall showed that the North Potomac Street Parking Deck, which is about a block away from the site of the proposed office building, has about 200 empty spaces during the day, said city Finance Director Al Martin.

Metzner didn't know if the parking deck would satisfy Silverman's needs.

The parking deck was not discussed during Silverman's presentation. Silverman could not be reached for comment Tuesday evening.

Meanwhile, a majority of council members supported granting Silverman a 135-day option on the city-owned building that would be demolished under the project plans. A formal vote on the option is expected Sept. 26.

The buildings that would be demolished are 32-36 S. Potomac St., which city documents stated is owned by Joe Walker, 38-40 S. Potomac St., a city-owned building also known as the former Tri-State building, and 46-48 S. Potomac St., which is owned by the Hagerstown-Washington County Industrial Foundation and was occupied by the Double T Lounge.

Under the proposal, Silverman would build a four-story, 96,000-square-foot building on the site. The two underground parking levels would be accessible from an alley behind the property. They would be available for public parking in the evenings, he said.

The building would be set back about 40 feet from South Potomac Street to make room for a plaza.

Silverman was enthusiastic about the project's success.

He said he's received three calls from people interested in office space in the proposed building since a newspaper article about the project was published about a month ago.

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