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Baltimore Street apartment project moving ahead

November 02, 2009|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

HAGERSTOWN -- Two buildings soon will be demolished on West Baltimore Street to make way for a senior citizen apartment complex, but an urgent-care facility probably won't be built there.

In August, the 55 W. Baltimore St. parcel was one of two final sites being considered by Washington County Hospital for an urgent-care center, near the planned apartments.

But Hagerstown Housing Authority Executive Director Ted Shankle said Monday the site no longer is in the running for the medical center.

Mike Zampelli, CEO of Antietam Health Services, which is under the same parent organization as the hospital, said in August that an initial list of 16 to 18 possible sites had been narrowed to two, including the West Baltimore Street property. He declined at the time to say anything about the other possible site, other than that a building is on the parcel.

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Zampelli confirmed Monday that the West Baltimore Street site has been eliminated from consideration, leaving one final choice. He said there are details left to work out on that remaining site, so it won't be disclosed yet.

Shankle said the Hagerstown Housing Authority's board gave the hospital an Oct. 19 deadline for a decision, then withdrew offering their site from consideration when the deadline passed.

The housing authority plans to build 60 apartments for senior citizens at 55 W. Baltimore St., the site of the former H.L. Mills service station.

In the next 30 days or so, two buildings will be torn down. Shankle said the underground pipes were removed awhile ago.

After the demolition, a 15-foot pile of shale will be placed on the site to compress the soil. Shankle said the shale has to sit for about 90 days.

Construction of the apartments is expected to begin around April and last about a year, he said.

The project was expected to cost about $13 million, but the estimate rose about $1.5 million because the building will meet "green" environmental standards, he said.

Shankle said $9.88 million in federal stimulus money will be used for the project, along with $1.5 million from the authority's reserves and $2.75 million in state tax credits.

The general contractor, Southway Builders in Baltimore, is required to use at least 60 percent local subcontractors and local materials, Shankle said.

The apartment complex will be named the C.W. Brooks building to honor Carolyn W. Brooks, chairwoman of the housing authority's board, and her grandfather, T. Andrew Williams.

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