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East End project getting an assist from D.C. planner

October 12, 2004|by GREGORY T. SIMMONS

gregs@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN - A local group seeking to redevelop a large area in Hagerstown's East End, including Municipal Stadium, is working with one of the lead planning companies for the District of Columbia's effort to bring baseball to Washington.

That company, Brailsford & Dunlavey, is in contact with a group of Hagerstown business leaders in an effort to develop concept drawings, said Richard Phoebus Sr., president of Hagerstown Neighborhood Development Partnership, a nonprofit corporation created by the Hagerstown City Council to speed redevelopment efforts.

"We are talking with (Brailsford & Dunlavey) and coming up with a plan. ... They're just doing preliminary research," Phoebus said Monday.

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The area under discussion is near the stadium and north to Washington County Hospital and Dual Highway, south along Frederick Street and eastward. It encompasses some city- and county-owned land and a number of businesses and private homes.

The plans under discussion are the most recent to involve refurbishing the stadium or building a new one and bringing a convention center to the area. Phoebus has said the goals are to boost local tourism, raise property values and add a fresh look to the town.

That study would be an "overall concept plan," including "the possibility of a stadium, the possibility of a conference center, commercial and residential redevelopment," Phoebus said.

Phoebus said the plans would not displace businesses or homes. He declined to provide the names of those funding the study.

Those putting up the cash for the study will meet with Brailsford & Dunlavey to continue work on the concept plans, which are scheduled to be ready for public review in January, Phoebus said.

Brailsford & Dunlavey is a project management company that coordinates public-use facilities from student housing to stadiums.

The company was involved in the effort to bring the Montreal Expos to Washington, but also is the project manager for the new stadium for the Nashville (Tenn.) Sounds, a AAA affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates, and coordinated planning and construction for the Baltimore Ravens stadium, according to the company Web site.

A company representative for Brailsford & Dunlavey did not return a phone call seeking comment on Monday.

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