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Casual dining, hotel coming

May 05, 2004|by JULIE E. GREENE

julieg@herald-mail.com

More casual dining restaurants and a 100-room hotel are on the way to the Hagerstown area, with announcements expected this summer concerning specific businesses, the president of Bowman Development Corp. said Tuesday.

With Martin's Food Market deciding to build a bigger store on Wesel Boulevard instead of on Railway Lane, Bowman Development is moving forward with its previous plan for a hotel and casual dining park along Railway Lane, David Taylor said.

So far, a Bob Evans restaurant is the only specific business that has been announced for the Railway Lane area, Taylor said.

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The company's plan calls for opening at least six more casual dining restaurants that each would be approximately 6,000 to 6,500 square feet with seating capacity for 230 people and 125 parking spaces, Taylor said.

Taylor said he thinks the area will include an Italian restaurant and a sports-themed restaurant, but would not provide specifics.

"Some of them are going to be very exciting, very new," Taylor said.

The multimillion-dollar investment along Railway Lane includes plans for the hotel with a national franchise that could have a breakfast bar or restaurant with light fare, Taylor said. A deal with a franchise has not been reached, he said.

The development, which the company refers to as Valley Center at Railway, is on approximately 30 acres along Railway Lane between the side road that leads to Sam's Club, the railroad and Interstate 81.

Outback Steakhouse and Holiday Inn Express are on the west side of the development.

Hagerstown Ford is leasing some of the property on the east side, where it has vehicles fenced in near Sam's Club, Taylor said. If demand warrants, that space could be developed for more restaurants and retail stores, Taylor said.

The Bob Evans restaurant is expected to open in front of that area around September, Taylor said.

The hotel would be farther off Railway Lane to the west of the land Hagerstown Ford is leasing, according to the design.

The land is owned by Bowman Railway LLC and is being developed by Bowman Development Corp., both of which are subsidiaries of The Bowman Group, Taylor said. The Bowman Group is owned by local businessman Don Bowman and his son, Todd Bowman, Taylor said.

Most of the land is within Hagerstown city limits, Taylor said.

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