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Council supports razing 3 buildings

January 10, 2001

Council supports razing 3 buildings



By DAN KULIN / Staff Writer


A proposed $12 million office building for downtown Hagerstown, which may require the demolition of three buildings, has received the support of the City Council again.

The City Council agreed Tuesday to send a letter of support for the project to the city Preservation Design District Commission, also known as the PDDC.

The PDDC is requiring the letter as part an application for a certificate of hardship, which is needed to allow the project to go forward.

Marc Silverman, a Rockville, Md., developer, wants to build a four-story office building on top of two levels of underground parking at 32-46 S. Potomac St.

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The buildings on that property now are a city-owned building known as the former Tri-State building; the former Double T Lounge, which is owned by the Hagerstown-Washington County Industrial Foundation; and a building owned by Joe Walker, which Silverman said Tuesday he has arranged to purchase.

In October, the City Council unanimously voted to grant Silverman a purchase option on the former Tri-State building.

Silverman's original plans called for demolishing those three buildings, but the PDDC turned down Silverman's first demolition application.

In applying for a certificate of hardship to permit demolition, Silverman must show the project would be of greater public benefit than keeping the buildings, and that the project could not be done unless the buildings were torn down.

As part of this application process, Silverman is also looking into whether he can afford to save at least the facades of the three buildings.

Silverman said Tuesday that he should know by the end of the month whether any part of the buildings can be incorporated into his plan.

PDDC approval of Silverman's plan is required because the buildings are within a city historical district.

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