Westminster breaks ground on renewal

March 31, 2002|By Maria Blackburn | Maria Blackburn,SUN STAFF

In 1998, the last time the city of Westminster held a ceremony to mark the redevelopment of the former Farmers Supply site downtown, Gov. Parris N. Glendening came to praise the city's commitment to fighting sprawl.

The project proposed for the site, a $6 million Carroll County Bank and Trust operations center, was never built because the bank was sold to BB&T.

City officials again donned their hard hats at the site recently for an event to celebrate the building of a four-story, $2.9 million office, retail and residential building called Westminster Square.

Glendening wasn't present for the groundbreaking this time, but the city, state and county officials who were there confirmed their commitment to the project and vowed that it would reach fruition.

"It's real. It's going to happen. I'm certain of it," said Thomas K. Ferguson, a Westminster city councilman and BB&T vice president. In 1999, before he was on the council, Ferguson negotiated an agreement in which his bank gave the city the deed to the site and $2.25 million to help find a new partner to develop it.

Westminster Square, which is being developed by Tyler-Donegan, will include two levels of office and retail space topped by two floors of condominiums. Eight two- or three-bedroom condos with granite kitchen countertops, ceramic tile, hardwood floors and balconies are planned. A 1,500-square-foot, two-bedroom condo in the building will sell for about $188,000, according to Chad Tyler of Tyler-Donegan. The 1-acre lot is at Liberty and Green streets in the heart of downtown.

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