Commission approves razing two buildings

January 10, 2003|by SCOTT BUTKI

HAGERSTOWN - A city commission Thursday gave its needed blessing for the demolition of two Hagerstown buildings, clearing the way for the downtown education center open space plan and another downtown project to proceed.

Demolitions of buildings in Hagerstown's historic district need the approval of the Hagerstown Preservation Design District Commission.

City officials said neither the former McCrory's building at 50-56 W. Washington St., next to the Baldwin House, or the Double T Building, at 46-48 S. Potomac St., were seen as contributing to the historic district.

Both were approved for demolition.

The City of Hagerstown plans to use more than $1 million in state grants to tear down the former McCrory's building, which was built in the 1950s.


The city is seeking bids this week for the demolition.

Eventually, the city will develop an urban park in its place, providing green space next to the campus.

The commission also approved the demolition of the Double T, which Bowman Development Corp. wants turned into a parking deck.

The commission's approval was conditional on the city promising to put some type of parking at the building's present site.

Some commission members expressed concern that the area might turn into an eyesore if nothing is done with the site.

The city is negotiating with Bowman over the sale of the former Tri-State Electric building, which is adjacent to the Double T building.

Bowman has proposed putting a restaurant or retail business on the first floor of the former Tri-State building and offices on the second and third floors.

As part of the negotiations, the company and city are trying to determine how to fund a parking deck.

The city has $100,000 in its budget, which can be used to help pay for a parking deck, City Engineer Rodney Tissue said.

He did not have an estimate for the cost of a parking deck but a city official had previously estimated that a three-story parking deck would cost $2 million.

The Hagerstown City Council has not committed to spending money on a parking deck, Tissue said.

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