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Councilwoman opposes razing Double T building

April 19, 2002|BY DAN KULIN /Staff Writer

dank@herald-mail.com

Hagerstown City Councilwoman Penny May Nigh said Tuesday she opposes a plan to demolish the former Double T building in downtown because she knows of someone who wants to buy the building.

Councilman Kristin B. Aleshire said he has a problem with the cost of the plan to demolish the building, which is on the first block of South Potomac Street, and add parking spaces behind it.

City Administrator Bruce Zimmerman said demolishing the former lounge building, and turning it into a walkway, installing lights, and putting a 25-space parking lot behind it and the building beside it would cost about $162,000.

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If the city goes through with that plan, it could also have to forgive a $140,000 city loan the Hagerstown/Washington County Industrial Foundation used to buy the building, and pay the foundation another $140,000 for the property, Mayor William M. Breichner said.

But Breichner said there is an agreement with the foundation, known as CHIEF, to swap the former Double T building for a city-owned building that once housed McBare's Pub. Such a swap would mean the city would not have to pay CHIEF any money for the former Double T building at this time, he said.

Breichner said he favors moving forward with the plan to demolish the former Double T building and add parking.

Zimmerman said city Economic Development Coordinator Deborah Everhart is expected to meet with a person who may have a plan for the Double T building.

Zimmerman said city staff will continue working on plans to demolish the building, which ultimately would have to be approved by a council vote.

If a developer has a plan for the building, Zimmerman said, the council would be informed.

Nigh said she knows of someone interested in possibly purchasing the former Tri-State building, which is also on the first block of South Potomac Street and is owned by the city. Nigh would not identify who has expressed an interest in the buildings.

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