Broadfording Road upgrade could lead to development

A concept plan includes a gas station, a hotel, restaurants and other businesses

A concept plan includes a gas station, a hotel, restaurants and other businesses

July 30, 2009|By HEATHER KEELS

HAGERSTOWN -- County-funded improvements to Broadfording Road could help pave the way for a new commercial development north of the Best Buy store, Washington County Director of Public Works Joseph Kroboth said.

A concept plan has been submitted to both Hagerstown and Washington County offices for three developers to build a gas station, a hotel, restaurants and other businesses on the land along Broadfording Road between Hollyhock Road and Salem Avenue (Md. 58), Kroboth said.

The new development would adjoin the Shoppes at Hagerstown, the shopping center that opened in 2007 near Wal-Mart and features Best Buy.

The developers are AC&T, Orteck International of Gaithersburg, Md., and Bowman Hollyhock LLC, a division of Williamsport-based Bowman Development.

As an incentive to speed up the development, the Washington County Commissioners agreed Tuesday to move up $250,000 worth of pavement maintenance work on that stretch of Broadfording Road from next fiscal year to this fiscal year.


The land for the development has been annexed by the city, but Broadfording Road still is a county road, Kroboth said. Eventually, the section of Broadfording Road that runs past the new development probably will be conveyed to the city, but the road is in poor shape and needs to be repaved, Kroboth said.

In addition, Broadfording Road will need to be widened from two lanes to four and a traffic light will need to be added at the main entrance to the new development, but the developers will pay for those improvements, Kroboth said.

The developers of other recent construction in the area also are obligated to contribute to road improvements, Kroboth said.

Uniwest Commercial Realty, which built the Shoppes at Hagerstown, is obligated to fund part of the widening of Broadfording Road, and Beazer Homes, which built the nearby Collegiate Acres subdivision, must pay to install a traffic light at the intersection of Salem Avenue and Broadfording Road, Kroboth said.

The State Highway Administration is reviewing a plan for the layout of the intersection, SHA spokesman Charlie Gischlar said. After SHA and Beazer Homes approve the traffic access plan, plans for the traffic light can begin, Gischlar said.

When the commissioners agreed to advance funding for the pavement maintenance, they stipulated the work at Broadfording Road should take place at the same time as the installation of the traffic signal at the Salem Avenue intersection.

"The last thing this road needs is another shopping center without the light," Commissioner Kristin B. Aleshire said.

Kroboth said the work probably would be done next spring. If the developers submit site plans to the city for review soon, they also could be in a position to start construction in the spring, he said.

Hagerstown Planning Director Kathleen A. Maher said the developers had received a mass grading permit from the city, but had not submitted an official site plan for review.

The concept for the center has changed several times since the developers originally presented it in 2007 as a sort of restaurant park, Maher said.

Since granting the grading permit in March, the city planning department has not heard from the developers, Maher said.

"We'd assumed that it bogged down because of the economy," she said.

Brad Fulton of AC&T said Thursday he was waiting for the city and county to resolve the issue of Broadfording Road before moving forward with development plans.

"We are anxious to move forward, but we just have to get through some more of these permitting issues," he said.

Fulton said his portion of the development will include a gas station and convenience store as well as additional space he hopes to sell or lease to another retailer, such as a drug store or restaurant.

Other businesses on the concept plan include the hotel, a 4,000-square-foot restaurant, a smaller restaurant with a drive through, and an auto sales and service business.

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