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Deal could bring more dining downtown

October 20, 2004|by GREGORY T. SIMMONS

gregs@herald-mail.com

An empty warehouse on East Washington Street could have several dining options in the near future if a Frederick, Md., attorney's proposal wins approval.

Stephen Glessner discussed his plans for the Tusing Warehouse at the City Council's Tuesday work session, eight months after he and his business partner gained preliminary approval from the council to redevelop the building.

Tusing Warehouse is owned by the city, but the current proposal calls for it to be sold to Glessner for $20,000. Glessner estimates he'll spend about $400,000 in upgrades to the building.

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Glessner said some of the plans have changed, but he still would like to have a "Frederick-style" restaurant and bar and commercial office space.

The main restaurant would take the top floor, where there would be about 40 tables and a balcony for outdoor seating, Glessner said.

Glessner said he also has spoken with five food vendors who would be interested in joining a food court on the building's main floor. He said this would be ideal for lunchtime crowds.

The basement, which is partly above ground, could be used for more food options or office space, Glessner said.

Glessner said he would remove some of the parking spaces around the building to provide landscaping and a courtyard.

Part of the plan that has been cut was putting apartments in the building. Glessner said he hopes to have live music at the restaurant, and residential space in the three-level building would not be preferable.

Councilman Kristin B. Aleshire questioned the proposed $20,000 purchase price, and Councilman Lewis C. Metzner said the proposal needs to consider whether the landscaping changes will allow enough room for city events like Augustoberfest and Western Maryland Blues Fest, which are held in the city's central parking lot next to the warehouse.

Councilwoman Carol N. Moller said she liked the idea of the food court mixed with the restaurant.

"They'll pop in and out of there all day long," Moller said.

Glessner is expected to return to the City Council within the next 45 days to provide more answers about the project, at which time the city would decide whether to continue with the project.

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