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Hagerstown City Council seeks to delay Double T demolition

June 12, 2002|by SCOTT BUTKI

scottb@herald-mail.com

Members of the Hagerstown City Council on Tuesday said they wanted more information on two proposals to develop the former Tri-State Electric building downtown, but want to delay for about 90 days a vote on the demolition of the neighboring Double T Building.

Bowman Development Corp. and Beverly A. Kipe have submitted separate proposals to the city on how they would use the city-owned building at 38-40 S. Potomac St. if the city sold it to them.

Kipe, of Hagerstown, is a budget analyst for the U.S. Department of Energy.

Both proposals call for having an outside seating area on the site of the Double T building.

The proposals are consistent with Hagerstown's downtown Arts and Entertainment District plans, City Economic Development Coordinator Deborah Everhart told the Mayor and City Council during Tuesday's meeting.

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The council decided to give Bowman and Kipe 90 days to submit additional information, including project financing, a management plan, promotion and marketing, and development plans.

At its May 28 meeting, the council approved a land swap with the Hagerstown/Washington County Industrial Foundation, known as CHIEF, in which CHIEF gave the city the former Double T building, and the city gave CHIEF the former McBare's Pub building.

The city wanted the Double T as part of a plan to demolish that building and put a walkway and new parking lot on the property.

The council was scheduled to vote at its June 18 meeting on whether to award a $69,000 contract to demolish the Double T Building and do related work.

Upon demolition, the city staff would design a parking lot for the site, City Engineer Rodney Tissue said.

Council members said they wanted to hear additional information on the two development proposals before voting on the demolition.

Councilman Lewis Metzner said it would make sense to delay the demolition so the city can try to coordinate the work on the two buildings.

People would be more amenable to problems caused by construction work if they know the reasons for it, Councilwoman Carol Moller said.

Bowman's proposal suggests putting a restaurant or retail business on the first floor of the former Tri-State building and offices on the second and third floors, city documents said.

Kipe suggests putting a coffeehouse and specialty art and gift shop on the first floor with arts and entertainment-related evening activities, city documents said.

She suggests having a community room, office space and artist studio space on the second floor, city documents said. She suggests having middle- to upper-income loft residential units on the third floor.

At this point, neither proposal includes a request that the city help fund the project, Everhart said.

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