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NEWS
By HEATHER KEELS | August 26, 2010
CASCADE -- Amid a court-ordered environmental review, plans for Fort Ritchie's redevelopment have been revised to omit construction of office buildings on the historic parade ground and to reduce the estimated number of jobs more than 25 percent. A 2004 plan estimated the redevelopment of the former U.S. Army base near Cascade would result in 4,500 jobs at its full development level, but a new plan completed in June reduces that number to 3,343, said William D. Hofmann, senior property and environmental services manager for the development company, Corporate Office Properties Trust.
NEWS
By HOLLY SHOK and C.J. LOVELACE | holly.shok@herald-mail.com and cj.lovelace@herald-mail.com | March 8, 2013
Despite some changes in wording ordered after an impromptu meeting Friday morning, City of Hagerstown officials signed a nonbinding agreement later Friday to allow a real estate investment group to act on the city's behalf in developing a vision for downtown redevelopment. The amended version, a copy of which was obtained by The Herald-Mail on Friday night, was signed by Mayor David S. Gysberts and four of the five city council members, with Councilman Kristin B. Aleshire being the only signature line left blank.
NEWS
By C.J. LOVELACE | cj.lovelace@herald-mail.com | January 14, 2013
A presentation set to take place during the Hagerstown City Council meeting Tuesday has the potential to influence the vision and subsequent redevelopment of the city's struggling downtown in a big way, according to a local attorney. Representatives of Sora Development, a multi-faceted real estate development firm based in Towson, Md., will be at City Hall to talk about developing some type of public-private partnership and a comprehensive redevelopment plan for downtown Hagerstown, said attorney D. Bruce Poole, who will be representing the group.
NEWS
By C.J. LOVELACE | cj.lovelace@herald-mail.com | March 5, 2013
Hagerstown officials plan to sign a nonbinding agreement Friday morning to allow a real estate investment group to act as the “agent” of the city and get its master downtown redevelopment plan in motion. “I think it's the first time in probably over 20 years that we've had such a meeting, and I think that speaks of the importance of the issue and the belief that this needs to be done promptly,” City Councilman Lewis C. Metzner said Tuesday, adding that they preferred to meet Wednesday but forecasted inclement weather forced them to select Friday at 7:30 a.m. Once the one-page letter is signed, it authorizes the development group to talk with businesses and community stakeholders on the city's behalf to develop a proposal of “catalyst” projects as a starting point for redevelopment at no expense to the city, Dane Bauer of the engineering firm Daft McCune Walker told Mayor David S. Gysberts and the Hagerstown City Council at City Hall on Tuesday night.
OPINION
By JOHN LAUGHLIN | October 23, 2011
The discussion among participants in the nonprofit and governmental sectors regarding how to accelerate the redevelopment of downtown Hagerstown has largely ignored the most important constituencies in economic development: developers and private investors. The proper roles for government and nonprofit organizations in economic development are surprisingly simple: Create an environment that welcomes investment; provide incentives that are commensurate with the risks incurred by private developers and investors; and create the infrastructure and facilities that will support the desired development.
NEWS
By C.J. LOVELACE | cj.lovelace@herald-mail.com | January 15, 2013
After a lengthy public discussion with an outside group of real estate development officials Tuesday night, Hagerstown Mayor David S. Gysberts and city council members spoke positively about the opportunities the group could present in terms of redeveloping various parts of the city. Represented by local attorney D. Bruce Poole, the group of officials consisted of Tim Elliott of the real estate development company Sora Development, Dane Bauer of the engineering firm Daft, McCune and Walker Inc., and Chuck Brawley of Skanska, a multi-national construction company.
NEWS
By C.J. LOVELACE | cj.lovelace@herald-mail.com | March 11, 2013
Hagerstown Mayor David S. Gysberts sounded optimistic Monday talking about the city's two “representatives” authorized Friday to begin downtown redevelopment talks with local stakeholders. “They can start moving, but I think the thing that's crucial is that it's nonbinding and it's nonexclusive,” Gysberts said. “And it's time limited, so it's not like we're selling the farm and there's a whole lot of risk. There's really no risk.” City officials on Friday signed an amended letter entering into an agreement with Hagerstown attorney D. Bruce Poole and Dane Bauer, senior vice president of the engineering firm Daft McCune Walker, who represent a real estate investment group that also includes Towson, Md.-based Sora Development and Skanska Construction, a multinational company.
NEWS
By DAN KULIN /Staff Writer | May 12, 1999
Hagerstown City Council members voted 4-1 on Tuesday to approve a $1.18 million contract for the first phase of the redevelopment of the Hagerstown Fairgrounds. Construction crews could be at the site within three weeks to begin work on softball and soccer fields that would be ready for play by July 1, Assistant City Engineer Rodney Tissue said. Councilwoman Susan Saum-Wicklein cast the lone vote against awarding the contract. Saum-Wicklein said she was waiting for a complete financial analysis of the Fairgrounds redevelopment project.
NEWS
by CANDICE BOSELY | October 7, 2002
martinsburg@herald-mail.com An abandoned reservoir could become a community lake. A large, now-vacant warehouse could be transformed into a community gym and meeting place. Other areas might become a professional office campus, ball fields and parks. Right now, about 100 acres consisting of empty buildings, a 7-acre parking lot, the reservoir, an old scrap yard, former granaries and land along the southwest side of the Charles Town-Ranson line is abandoned or underutilized - but ripe for redevelopment, officials said.
NEWS
by TARA REILLY | July 8, 2002
tarar@herald-mail.com Two Cascade men have asked the Washington County Commissioners to set up a citizens advisory commission to help redevelop the former Fort Ritchie U.S. Army base to ensure county residents aren't left out of future plans for the complex. At least two county commissioners, however, said they are hesitant to support another committee at this time. The charge is being led by Cascade residents Jim Lemon and Karl Weissenbach, who claim a commission is necessary to represent the residents who live near the former base.
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NEWS
By JENNIFER FITCH | waynesboro@herald-mail.com | September 9, 2013
Motorists could be encountering a new traffic signal at the intersection of East Main Street and Sunnyside Avenue when Waynesboro Mall is redeveloped, municipal officials said Monday. “We have an agreement with the proposed developer to bear the cost of the (traffic) light,” Borough Manager Lloyd Hamberger said. The Waynesboro Borough Council will be reviewing that agreement with J.C. BAR Properties Inc. at its meeting tonight. The agreement also calls for the borough to be absolved of maintenance for a period of time.
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NEWS
By C.J. LOVELACE | cj.lovelace@herald-mail.com | August 10, 2013
To successfully redevelop the former Fort Ritchie U.S. Army base in Cascade, the PenMar Development Corp. will need to start thinking - and operating - more like a real estate developer, according to a team of consultants. About 30 people, including several local, Washington County and state officials, attended a Friday morning meeting at the Fort Ritchie Community Center to see a summary presentation of a study being completed by a team of six experienced real estate consultants from all over the nation.
NEWS
By KAUSTUV BASU | kaustuv.basu@herald-mail.com | July 27, 2013
Some members of Washington County's legislative delegation say Hagerstown city government has to make a definite pitch to the state about its plans for downtown redevelopment soon or risk not getting any money during fiscal 2015. Del. Andrew Serafini, R-Washington, who is chairman of the county delegation, said the capital budget for fiscal 2015 - which will be discussed and voted on by the Maryland General Assembly in Annapolis during the 2014 session - is already being formulated as jurisdictions submit their requests for various projects.
NEWS
BY KAUSTUV BASU | kaustuv.basu@herald-mail.com | July 12, 2013
The state allocated $100,000 to the city of Hagerstown during the 2013 session of the Maryland General Assembly for a downtown redevelopment study, but city officials are still deciding how to spend the money. “We are coordinating with the state to determine what the applicable uses of this fund are,” Erin Wolfe, a spokeswoman for the city, said last week. The funds are available for fiscal 2014, which began July 1. Karen Glenn Hood, a spokeswoman for the Maryland Department of Business & Economic Development, said her office was working with city officials.
OPINION
June 30, 2013
City council to blame if Suns leave town To the editor: It has become very clear that this current city council cares less about the future of Hagerstown and more about their personal agendas and re-election prospects. A concept plan was presented to the council by Sora Development that outlined a public-private partnership to jumpstart the redevelopment of downtown with no decision from the council. Sora wanted to proceed with a nonbinding agreement, however Councilman Aleshire wanted constant updates, basically micromanaging the development of the plan.
NEWS
By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthewu@herald-mail.com | June 14, 2013
A microbrewery was among the most popular redevelopment ideas pitched Friday for the Matthews Foundry, a dilapidated 19th century stone building located in Martinsburg's historic industrial core. Built before the Civil War, the building at 420 N. Queen St. was one of five projects in Main Street communities across the state that the West Virginia Redevelopment Collaborative chose earlier this year to receive technical assistance that could help spur revitalization. “We're really excited about this project,” Carrie Staton, the collaborative's coordinator, told community stakeholders invited to a kickoff for the Benedum Foundation grant-funded project.
NEWS
By C.J. LOVELACE | cj.lovelace@herald-mail.com | June 9, 2013
Talking about the current state of downtown, Hagerstown City Councilman Donald F. Munson recently said the future looks “black, bleak, terrible” if something isn't done to jump-start new investment and development. City officials hope a new grant program will help spur the desired private-sector investment needed to remove blight and redevelop the downtown and surrounding areas. The program is called Invest Hagerstown, and under preliminary plans, $1.5 million in excess reserve funding has been earmarked for commercial and residential grants in the city.
NEWS
By KAUSTUV BASU | kaustuv.basu@herald-mail.com | June 5, 2013
Addressing a lunch gathering Wednesday organized by the Hagerstown-Washington County Chamber of Commerce, Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown stressed the value of partnerships between the state and private businesses to create more opportunities and jobs. Brown, a Democrat who is running for governor in the 2014 elections, earlier this week picked Howard County Executive Ken Ulman to be his running mate. Brown's address was focused on the economy and jobs, and how the state can better help local entities.
NEWS
By C.J. LOVELACE | cj.lovelace@herald-mail.com | April 29, 2013
D. Bruce Poole and Dane Bauer, two representatives of a real estate development group that includes Sora Development, presented a progress report to the five-member council April 23 detailing numerous meetings about developing a master plan conducted over the past five weeks with local business and education leaders as well as state officials. Poole and Bauer had hoped to receive approval from the council to move forward in the process last Tuesday, but some council members took issue with the proposal, prompting Tuesday's executive session that will begin about 4:30 p.m., in the council chamber at City Hall.
NEWS
By HOLLY SHOK | holly.shok@herald-mail.com | April 9, 2013
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?
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