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Deming awarded more than half million in tax credits for renovation projects

Only 10 projects selected from around the state for latest round of Sustainable Communities Tax Credits

February 11, 2011|By HEATHER KEELS | heather.keels@herald-mail.com
  • The former site of Barnwood Books at 101 S Potomac St. in Hagerstown. Hagerstown developer Mike Deming has been awarded more than half a million dollars in tax credits for his project to convert two vacant downtown buildings to apartments.
By Joe Crocetta, Staff Photographer

Hagerstown developer Mike Deming has been awarded more than half a million dollars in tax credits for his project to convert two vacant downtown buildings to apartments.

His projects, located at 101 S. Potomac St. and 9-11 and 13-17 W. Antietam Street, were among 10 projects selected from around the state for Maryland's latest round of Sustainable Communities Tax Credits, Gov. Martin O'Malley's office said Friday in a news release.

The credits are awarded to projects that will create construction jobs, revitalize communities and promote green building practices, the release said.

Deming was awarded $289,900 in credits for his renovation of the Potomac Street property, which is the former site of Barnwood Books, and $284,000 for his renovation of the Antietam Street sites, which are behind the former bookstore building.

Renovation costs are estimated at about $1.4 million for each of the two buildings, for a total project cost of about $2.8 million, the news release said.

Based on the credit amount, the state estimated the projects would create about 42 construction jobs, according to Andrew Ratner, a spokesman for the Maryland Department of Planning.

Deming did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

The developer has said previously that he plans to put 22 apartments in the buildings and has a possible tenant who wants to put a microbrewery in the former Barnwood Books space on the street level of 101 S. Potomac St.

Deming's company, Demcore Development, obtained that building from Vincent Groh in 2006, according to Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation records.

Barnwood Books moved to 13 S. Potomac St. in January.

The Washington County state legislative delegation has filed a bill that would allow the county liquor board to issue a state microbrewery license, permitting the holder to make and sell beer. A hearing on that bill is scheduled for Feb. 28.

The 10 projects selected to receive the tax credits were chosen from a pool of 36 applications based on a scoring scale, the news release said.

The 10 projects were awarded a total of $11 million and will create about 740 construction jobs, the release said.

The Sustainable Communities Tax Credit and its predecessor, the Historic Tax Credit, have invested more than $358 million in Maryland revitalization projects in the past 15 years, supporting 15,000 jobs and revitalizing communities, the release said.

"This tax credit represents the best of public investment and private enterprise as we continue to seek ways to fuel economic growth and create jobs," O'Malley said in the release. "The success of the program in recent years cannot be understated. These projects will help revitalize historic communities, strengthen a green economy throughout our State, and create new construction and rehabilitation jobs in every corner of Maryland."

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