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Hotel to target business clientele

July 22, 2005|by GREGORY T. SIMMONS

gregs@herald-mail.com

A new 103-room, extended-stay hotel is planned for 2.5 acres near Interstate 81 and Halfway Boulevard in Hagerstown, representatives for the development said this week.

A Homewood Suites, a brand under the Hilton name, would be built off Railway Lane among a number nearby restaurants and hotels.

Jeff Tedrick, the project manager for Bowman Development Corp., said once construction begins on the hotel, it will take 12 to 13 months to complete, and another two or so months to train employees before the hotel would open.

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The hotel is targeted at business clientele, and would cater to those wishing to stay five to seven nights at a minimum, Tedrick said.

Tedrick also described the hotel as what would be a "first-class product," boasting a putting green, in-room kitchens, high-speed internet access, an indoor swimming pool, a patio area with gas grills, a lounge area and business conference space.

The hotel would be between the recently opened Buffalo Wild Wings Grill & Bar and the Bob Evans Restaurant, also on Railway Lane.

Tedrick said Wednesday that the best-case scenario would be to open the hotel in February or March 2007.

Tedrick said Bowman is actively pursuing development of other unused sites Bowman owns near the hotel. That land could hold as many as five restaurants, depending on the type, but he said other types of business would be considered, too.

Also nearby is Valley Mall, and shopping centers along Wesel Boulevard and Massey Boulevard.

During a public hearing Wednesday, project engineer Malcolm Davis, of Hagerstown-based Davis, Renn & Associates, said the building would be five stories and 68 feet tall, 18 feet taller than what is usually allowed on land zoned similarly.

Davis also said the hotel would not disturb the nearby neighborhood - mostly hotels and restaurants- and would actually add to the looks by shielding nearby railroad tracks from public view.

Bowman Development had applied for special exceptions to the city's land-use regulations because hotels are not automatically allowed on that piece of land, and the building's proposed height needed special approval.

City Zoning Administrator Stephen Bockmiller said both special exceptions were granted during deliberations Wednesday night.

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