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Hagerstown a step closer to buying West Washington Street parcel

City Council this week approved a resolution giving right of first refusal to the building to the tenants occupying it

April 17, 2013|By DON AINES | dona@herald-mail.com

The Hagerstown City Council this week approved a resolution that clears the way for the city to buy a downtown property while keeping a commercial tenant in place.

The city has an option and purchase agreement to buy 43-53 W. Washington St. from Hagerstown Table Corp. for $320,000, Downtown Manager Andrew Sargent said Wednesday. However, the owners of the business occupying 49-53 W. Washington St., Potomac Bead Co., had the right of first refusal to purchase the entire combined parcel, he said.

The owners, Nathan and Allison Buchman, have relinquished the right of first refusal they had with Hagerstown Table, Sargent said. In exchange, the city is giving them the right of first refusal on the building they occupy, Sargent said.

The city council approved the resolution changing the right of first refusal agreement during a special session Tuesday.

Sargent said the Buchmans were not interested in buying the entire parcel, only the building they occupied. The city, on the other hand, was primarily interested in acquiring 43-47 W. Washington St., which he described as blighted, to refurbish and market for sale to a business or individual for commercial development, he said.

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More important than what the property sells for, Sargent said, it bringing in a business that will help the downtown economy.

“We will remove the barriers to redevelopment,” Sargent said. “The vision for that property is as important as the sale price.”

The money to purchase the property comes from state Community Legacy funds and federal Community Development Block Grant money, Sargent said.

There are conditions in the agreement that would allow Potomac Bead to purchase the building it occupies for $225,000 within a specified a period of years.

Sargent said the city has not set a budget for renovations to 43-47 W. Washington St.

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