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Hagerstown Council briefs

July 09, 2008|By DAN DEARTH

Bester Place planners seek builder to start construction in September

The executive director of the Washington County Community Action Council on Tuesday gave the Hagerstown City Council an update of Bester Place, a housing project that would include nine owner-occupied units near the intersection of Memorial Boulevard and South Potomac Street.

Dave Jordan said planners are seeking a builder to start construction on the project in September. Each of the homes, which would have about three bedrooms and 1 1/2 baths, would cost roughly $135,000, he said. Officials have been courting new teachers in the county to buy the homes.

City Community Development Manager Larry Bayer said the facade of the homes would be brick to maintain the architectural integrity of that area. Although the land would not be for sale, homeowners still could build equity, he said.

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In August, Bayer said the $1.6 million project would be funded publicly and is part of a program designed to attract entry-level professionals, such as teachers, firefighters and police officers.

Planning Director advises return of loan intended to pay for renovations to Meda building

City Planning Director Kathleen Maher on Tuesday told the City Council that it should consider giving back a $115,000 Community Legacy loan that was awarded last year to help pay for renovations of the Meda building at 24 E. Franklin St.

Maher said she didn't know how much renovations would cost, but the $115,000 loan didn't provide enough financial incentive to entice potential developers.

"We don't see this project coming to fruition anytime soon," she said.

The council agreed to follow Lewis C. Metzner's proposal to give the owner of the property, Alan Greenwald, 30 days to provide a renovation plan before returning the loan.

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