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Former truck stop land would be site for Wal-Mart and hotel

March 21, 2006|by ROBERT SNYDER

MARTINSBURG, W.VA.

A former truck stop in northern Berkeley County along Interstate 81 could soon be the site of a 36-acre retail and commercial cluster with a Wal-Mart superstore as its centerpiece, according to county planning department records.

The proposed project, called Spring Mills Towne Center, would be near exit 20 off Interstate 81 at the intersection of U.S. 11 and W.Va. 901.

Plans call for it to feature a 203,819-square-foot Wal-Mart Supercenter on more than 20 acres.

The Wal-Mart will be flanked by a number of other businesses, including a bank, convenience store/gas station, hotel and a number of additional retail and office spaces, according to a sketch plan and letter submitted in March 2005 to the Berkeley County Planning Commission.

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The project, which will be developed by Rental Properties Inc., the site's present owner, could be completed in three to seven years, wrote Senior Project Engineer Richard Brill of Hagerstown-based Fox & Associates Inc. in a March 30, 2005, letter to former interim Planning Director Harry Carter.

The proposed project recently was approved for designation as a Planned Unit Development, said county Planning Director Stefanie Allemong.

"What this allows is reductions in lot dimensions, setback and area requirements," Allemong said.

The 9-acre truck stop that had been owned by TA Operating Corp. was purchased in December 2003 for $1.34 million by R&H Properties LLC before being sold to Rental Properties Inc.

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