Advertisement

Hagerstown officials present plan to sell properties on website

City will solicit online proposals for redevelopment and appropriate reuse of city-owned property

April 09, 2013|By HOLLY SHOK | holly.shok@herald-mail.com

Hagerstown officials presented a new process to facilitate the sale of city-owned properties via the city’s website Tuesday before the mayor and five-member city council.

Through the competitive negotiated sale process, the city will solicit online proposals for the redevelopment and appropriate reuse of city-owned property on an ongoing basis, said John Lestitian, the city’s director of economic and community development.

Two properties — 11, 12, 15 and 16 Public Square, and 170 W. Washington St. — currently are available on the city’s website at www.hagerstownmd.org/index.aspx?NID=662.

The application, available online, is the “centerpiece” of the process, according to an April 5 memo from Lestitian to city Administrator Bruce Zimmerman.

Advertisement

“Prospective purchasers are asked to detail their vision, experience, job creation goals, public benefits, financing plans and other relevant information,” the memo states. “Similar to the Partners in Economic

Progress program, a staff committee will then review applications. Viable applications which meet the city’s vision will then be recommended for review by the mayor and city council.”

Lestitian said applications will be reviewed the first week of the month and recommendations that have “merit” will be brought before the mayor and city council.

“We’ve looked at how other communities have done it, we’ve looked at some missteps that we’ve had in the past and have said how is it that we can avoid those and how is it that we can have as tight of a process?” Lestitian said, noting the competitive negotiated sale process was created under the guidance of city attorneys.

Properties are not listed with an asking price, rather prospective buyers propose a purchase price.

“I think a lot depends on what they’re looking for,” Lestitian said. “If someone is proposing to acquire property and have minimal investment in it, then acquisition price would likely have to be higher than someone who maybe puts a million dollars into a project.”

Councilman Martin E. Brubaker expressed concern regarding the difficulty of holding prospective buyers to the information submitted on applications.

“The public really needs to understand that the highest bid for a place, or the highest dollar offer, isn’t always, often isn’t the best deal for the city. We need long-term guarantees, long-term implications and the best reuse of the structure,” Brubaker said. “... Somebody ready to flip it and hold it, and that’s not what we want.”

The city’s website lists 170 W. Washington St. with the following information: “The city recently acquired the Mid-Town Motel and is preparing to demolish the motel portion of the property on North Prospect Street and secure the mansion-house that faces West Washington Street. What will remain is a 7,468 square foot structure built in 1900 and sitting on 10,710 square feet of property right in the core of City Center Hagerstown. Well located near the County office buildings on West Washington Street, this property includes much of the original turn of the century woodwork thankfully intact.”

The city’s website cites the second property, 11, 12, 15 and 16 Public Square, as currently holding portions of the Rhubarb House and Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The website also states that interested parties can schedule a tour by contacting Downtown Manager Andrew Sargent.

The Herald-Mail Articles
|
|
|