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City to use state loan to renovate former bar

March 08, 2007|by DAN DEARTH

HAGERSTOWN - City officials will enter into a $115,000 loan agreement with the state to renovate the former Meda's Tavern on East Franklin Street.

Last week, the Hagerstown City Council unanimously authorized acceptance of the loan from the Community Legacy Program, a state program that provides public funding for neighborhood revitalization projects.

City Planning Director Kathleen Maher said city officials will pass the loan on to a developer to help pay for the building's renovation costs.

To qualify, the developer must comply with the city's proposal to rehabilitate the ground floor of the building for commercial use and the upper floor for residential use, she said.

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The city will begin courting potential developers when the loan is received, Maher said.

If potential developers do not submit plans that comply with the city's prerequisites for commercial and residential use, city officials will withdraw from the loan agreement, she said.

According to city records, the developer would be responsible for financial matches that are associated with accepting the loan.

Maher said the city applied for Community Legacy Program funding in 2006 to help finance several downtown projects.

The state awarded two of the city's requests, she said. One was the $115,000 loan to renovate Meda's Tavern, and the other was a $115,000 grant to work on the facade of the Barbara Ingram School for the Arts, she said.

Roger Giles, director of system development for Washington County Public Schools, said in January that the school could open as early as next year. The Barbara Ingram School for the Arts is a charter-like school that will accept high school students interested in pursuing an arts education, he said. The school will occupy the building that housed the former Henry's Theatre on 7-11 S. Potomac St. Meda's Tavern was at 24-26 E. Franklin St., Maher said. The building is owned by Vincent Groh.

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