"The only thing I could say is, our number one bottom-line objective is to try to be fair to everyone, blind to whoever makes the request. I know that's impossible but we try, at the same time looking out for the city's best interest," Yowan said.
Wickes said he hopes the Westminster fire company's move to the former Smith & Reifsnider building on John Street, adjacent to the Chapel lot, a metered city-owned parking lot, won't mean additional loss of public parking spaces.
The Chapel lot is not expected to be affected, but some spaces on the former Smith & Reifsnider lot, which adjoins the chapel lot, may be reserved.
Fire company President James E. Bangerd III and Max won't discuss the contract to buy the historic fire company building at 66 E. Main St. But rumors have persisted that the agreement between Max and the volunteer company includes a provision for parking spaces on the Smith & Reifsnider lot for Winchester West tenants and customers.
Max tried in July to lease 15 metered spaces on the 36-space Babylon lot on West Main Street for the American Red Cross, a tenant in Winchester West. The City Council said no, but agreed to convert 26 meters to 10-hour parking.
Larry Van Horn, director of donor relations for the Red Cross, said he didn't realize that the fire company's demolition of the Smith & Reifsnider building would squeeze parking on the Chapel lot. The Red Cross has 35 employees at Winchester West.
But Van Horn said Yowan helped workers find parking spots, and the director is happy with the Max brothers' management.
"Their buildings are beautiful. The construction they do is first rate," he said.
Settlement on the fire hall, the next Max Realty Inc. project in downtown Westminster, is not scheduled until the fire company builds a new station and moves to John Street.
The price of the building is reported to be between $500,000 and $600,000. State assessors value the land and building at $1.2 million. It may become home to Westminster's first microbrewery.
In the meantime, the brothers also are negotiating to buy the Longwell Professional Building at 77 E. Main St. Max and owner Nelson Dorsey declined to discuss details.
Pub Date: 1/19/97