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Berkeley Co. agrees to buy shopping center site for use as offices

February 25, 2007|by MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - The Berkeley County Commission on Thursday formally agreed to spend $3.15 million to buy a vacant shopping plaza across from the county's newly opened judicial center.

The 5.51-acre property, in the 500 block of South Raleigh Street, includes a 299-space parking lot.

The county plans tentatively to use the building for a future courthouse and offices for the county's planning and engineering departments, and the environmental services division of the health department.

Officials said KIMCO Realty Corp., based in Columbia, Md., negotiated the pending sale on behalf of Giant Food, which had operated a Martin's Food Market in the plaza. A CVS pharmacy also was there until the company moved to the north end of Martinsburg.

The building commission authorized the purchase on behalf of the county commission, which is not allowed to take such actions alone.

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Commissioner Ronald K. Collins said the county leaders were prepared to help Blue Ridge Community & Technical College find an alternative site for expansion after recently learning school leaders were interested in the property.

The school's lease of space in the county government's Dunn Building expires in 2015.

"We're in a position to offer them assistance ..." Collins said.

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