City Council set to buy downtown building Option gives 10 months to sell Farmers Supply

September 08, 1996|By Donna R. Engle | Donna R. Engle,SUN STAFF

The Westminster City Council is expected to sign an option tomorrow to buy the former Farmers Supply Co. property, a site identified as one of four parcels key to the downtown's future.

City officials, however, have no intention of becoming permanent owners of the 1-acre site at West Green and Liberty streets. Instead, their plan is to sell the site to a commercial developer. The tract, which includes a historic stone building, has been on the market since 1989.

"I can tell you definitely that the city is not going to purchase it for the city's use," said Mayor Kenneth A. Yowan. "We think we can market it to a developer who will be an asset to the city."

The site has been valued at $500,000. The only immediate expense to Westminster is a $100 refundable deposit.

The council is expected to vote to buy the option at its meeting at 7 p.m. tomorrow.

The city has 10 months to find a buyer. Yowan said if the property is not sold, the city is not obligated to buy it.

"I think it's a very smart move on the city's part," said Thomas K. Ferguson, president of Carroll County Bank and Trust Co. and chairman of the Greater Westminster Development Corp., a group that works to support existing businesses and attract new ones.

Farmers Supply Co. is one of four downtown properties identified in a 1994 consultant's study as "key properties" for the downtown's future.

The others are the J. C. Penney Co. building, which has been renovated for offices; the historic Westminster Fire Company, which was sold last week to commercial developers Robert and David Max for about $500,000; and the Westminster Post Office, which has been proposed as the future headquarters for the Carroll County public library system. The Postal Service is relocating to the Englar Business Center.

Pub Date: 9/08/96

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