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City Council updated on Potomac Street office building project

April 18, 2001

City Council updated on Potomac Street office building project



By DAN KULIN

dank@herald-mail.com

Construction of a new office building on the first block of South Potomac Street in Hagerstown could begin late this year, developer Marc Silverman told the Mayor and City Council on Tuesday.

Silverman also said he has looked into incorporating three existing buildings or their facades into a new building and "economically it doesn't work."

The mayor and council met with Silverman on Tuesday to receive an update on the progress of his proposed $12 million office building.

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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. Under his original proposal, the existing buildings, which include the former Tri-State building and the former Double T Lounge, would be demolished.

But the buildings are in a city historic district and the city used a grant to buy the Tri-State building, which means Silverman needs approval of state and city historic preservation organizations.

The city's Preservation Design District Commission, also known as the PDDC, asked Silverman to look into whether he can afford to save at least the facades of the three buildings.

The Maryland Historical Trust asked for the same review, Silverman said.

Silverman said he's meeting with Maryland Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend on May 4, and then with the Maryland Historical Trust and the city's PDDC.

Silverman said he's going to "present a number of alternatives" to the historical trust representatives.

"If we get the approval to demolish the buildings, which is one of the options ... There's a possibility for a 2001 construction start," Silverman said.

Silverman did not provide specific cost estimates for saving all of any part of the existing buildings.

The City Council, which has consistently supported Silverman, agreed Tuesday to extend a purchase option on the former Tri-State building.

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