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Ex-armory could become mental health center

July 17, 2009|By DAN DEARTH

HAGERSTOWN -- The former Maryland National Guard Armory on North Potomac Street in Hagerstown could be the new home of a mental health center within the next few months.

Frankie Corsi III, chief financial officer of Ridgecrest Investments, a subsidiary of the armory's owner, Moller Properties LLC of Frederick, Md., said his organization has been negotiating since May to sell the building to the Way Station.

A representative from the Way Station declined to comment Friday.

The Way Station is a not-for-profit mental health organization at 25 E. North Ave., which is around the corner from the armory at 328 N. Potomac St.

"I really don't see any hang-ups," Corsi said Friday of the sale. "I'm pretty sure everything will be OK."

Corsi said a sale price has not been reached at this point.

Moller Properties LLC spent about $500,000 to make upgrades to the 17,518-square-foot armory, including office renovations and the addition of fire escapes, Corsi said. Portions of the roof also were fixed.

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Corsi said he estimated the building would need about $1 million in further renovations.

Getting approval from the city to allow the Way Station to use a parking lot close to the armory was the main thing holding up the sale, Corsi said.

A city official said late Friday afternoon, however, that the parking issue had been resolved.

"They appear to be good to go," said Steve Bockmiller, development planner for the City of Hagerstown.

The armory was built in 1926, according to records from the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation. The property last was sold in 2005 for $20,000. Its value is listed as $88,366, according to records.

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