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NEWS
June 14, 1995
Few properties in downtown Westminster have as much potential as the former site of the Farmers Supply Co. on Liberty Street. It is a sizable parcel -- one acre -- in the heart of the city's business district. Development on this lot could well set the tone for the future of downtown in the Carroll County seat. Therefore, Westminster's council should take a keen interest in its development.Jack Tevis and Shell Oil Co. would like to build a convenience store, gas station and fast food restaurant on the site.
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NEWS
By David P. Greisman and David P. Greisman,Special to The Sun | January 21, 2007
Nearly a year ago, an early-morning fire caused an estimated $1 million in damage to a popular downtown Westminster restaurant, but the site of the Fat Cat Cafe is making its way back. In place of the shattered windows, caution tape, piles of debris and the destroyed third floor, there are tarps and glass, a construction crew and a turret extending from the roof of the rebuilt top level. The building is being restored by its new owner, Sykesville Mayor Jonathan S. Herman. Herman, who fell in love with 172 E. Main St. years ago, said the building will keep its historic look and will reopen with a new restaurant and apartment units inside.
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NEWS
By Donna E. Boller and Donna E. Boller,Sun Staff Writer | September 19, 1994
By 2000, downtown Westminster could have a high-rise apartment condominium that would lure middle- and upper-middle-income people to live in the heart of town.That is part of City Council President Kenneth A. Yowan's vision of what the city center might become. "I think it would be a tremendous asset for downtown to have people there who are spending money," he said.Ideas, brainstorms and flights of possibility about Westminster's future are being collected by HyettPalma Inc., a Virginia-based consultant retained to analyze the central area and develop a marketing strategy.
NEWS
By David P. Greisman and David P. Greisman,Special to The Sun | January 14, 2007
If the Westminster City Council approves a zoning ordinance after a public hearing on Jan. 22, the signature of Mayor Thomas K. Ferguson will keep ink from flowing in certain sections of the city. By keeping tattoo parlors from setting up on Main Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, city officials said they are seeking to retain a more traditional downtown Westminster and limit businesses in nearby residential areas to certain categories. "The vision [for downtown] is with primarily merchants in the retail business, shops that offer a unique shopping experience that you might not be able to experience, for example, in a mall or shopping center," Ferguson said.
NEWS
By Donna E. Boller and Donna E. Boller,Sun Staff Writer | April 4, 1994
City Councilwoman Rebecca A. Orenstein has just started the spadework to plant a farmers market in downtown Westminster. But some critics are predicting it won't grow because the area is saturated.Others, including several downtown merchants and county tourism officials, like the idea.Ms. Orenstein suggested a farmers market as a way to bring more people downtown, boosting the city's revitalization effort. The city received a $27,000 state grant last week to apply to revitalization.Local business and government leaders organized under the name Greater Westminster Development Corp.
NEWS
By Kristine Henry and Kristine Henry,SUN STAFF | March 7, 1999
An Italian sub shop will make its Maryland debut this spring in Westminster at the old firehouse on Main Street.Quizno's, a Denver-based franchise with about 500 locations -- mainly west of the Mississippi -- is set to open in May at the historic 66 E. Main St. site. The shop will be surrounded by similar restaurants: Joe's Deli, Giulianova Groceria and Paradiso Italian Restaurant.Franchise owner Mike Spurlock of Ellicott City said he chose to locate in downtown Westminster because the area doesn't have a lot of fast-food chain restaurants -- although Sam's Bagels is down the street -- and because he sees vitality in the area.
NEWS
By Sheridan Lyons and Sheridan Lyons,SUN STAFF | July 23, 2000
J.C. Penney will return next month to downtown Westminster, 10 years after closing its doors on Main Street. A catalog-merchant store is scheduled to open Aug. 23 inside the Golf Etc. store in the Old Firehouse building at 66 E. Main St., according to the store owner and a spokesman for J.C. Penney Co. Inc. from its headquarters in Plano, Texas. "Our merchant program is where we go into an existing business and they manage the catalog desk," said Tim Lyons, a public relations coordinator who handles store openings and closings.
NEWS
By Todd Richissin and Todd Richissin,SUN STAFF | April 4, 1998
WESTMINSTER -- In Johanssons, one of the most flavorful, quaint -- and usually peaceful -- restaurants in downtown Westminster, there is a standard lunchtime conversation that goes something like this:First Person: " "Second Person: "Huh?"Then there is a pause. And the conversation does not pick up again until the Maryland Midland train finishes its jolting, jarring, clanking, blaring, altogether-way-too-LOUD jaunt through town.Baltimore may have its honking highways and construction screeching, but even Maryland's largest city has no noise like quiet little Westminster's noise.
NEWS
November 25, 1993
A group of business and civic leaders is taking the first step toward reversing the decline of downtown Westminster. These 30 men and women are charter members of an organization called the Greater Westminster Development Corp. Their goal is to support existing businesses and attract new ones to the Carroll County seat -- no easy task.In recent years, it has become obvious that downtown Westminster is no longer the county's retailing core. People don't go to "town" to shop anymore; they go to the malls.
NEWS
By Donna R. Engle and Donna R. Engle,Sun Staff Writer | September 12, 1995
If last night's public hearing before the Westminster City Council had been a referendum on Stanley H. "Jack" Tevis' plans for a gas station and small grocery store, Mr. Tevis would have won.Several speakers pointed out that the hearing was supposed to be about a zoning text amendment that would bar certain types of businesses from coming into Westminster's central business district.But the timing of Mr. Tevis' proposal for the Farmers Supply Co. property -- and the fact that gas stations are on the list of businesses proposed for exclusion -- made it the focus of the two-hour hearing.
NEWS
By Sheridan Lyons and Sheridan Lyons,SUN STAFF | September 15, 2004
A free health clinic for Carroll County families who lack adequate health insurance could open as soon as November, operating at a new space in downtown Westminster as a nonprofit corporation, one of the group's members told the county commissioners yesterday. Access Carroll will open at 2 Locust Lane, off East Main Street, on a third floor space above David's Jewelers, said Dr. Robert Wack, a pediatrician and member of the group. Clients will be provided non-urgent care by appointment only, and the clinic will function like any other professional office, he said.
NEWS
By SUN STAFF | April 1, 2004
showings that included classics such as Gone With the Wind and Singin' in the Rain. "We've been very encouraged by the financial support and attendance," Oxx said, adding that the center probably averaged 400 to 600 people a month for shows. "We are still young, growing and learning." The former movie house had long been a fixture on Main Street. Built in 1937, the Carroll Theatre outlasted two other cinemas in town and became a favorite hangout for generations of county residents. Westminster Councilman Thomas Ferguson, an ex-officio arts council board member, recalled taking his wife, Sandy, to the movie house for their first date more than 40 years ago. They watched the original Parent Trap.
NEWS
By Athima Chansanchai and Athima Chansanchai,SUN STAFF | June 4, 2002
With a $221,000 face-lift and development nearby, the former Farmers Supply building in downtown Westminster - a 135-year-old stone structure that has been vacant several years - appears poised for new life. As soon as signs advertising space in the two-story building on Liberty Street went up a few months ago, calls began pouring in, said Stanley T. Ruchlewicz, executive director of Westminster Town Center Corp., the private, nonprofit group responsible for implementing some city revitalization efforts.
NEWS
By Maria Blackburn and Maria Blackburn,SUN STAFF | August 12, 2001
Tired of waiting for the ideal mix of stores to fill out its historic downtown, the city of Westminster is moving forward with a plan that would allow it to recruit businesses directly. City economic development specialist Stanley T. Ruchlewicz said Friday that Westminster is applying for a $35,000 community development block grant from the state to create a business recruitment and implementation plan for downtown. Westminster's mayor and Common Council will hold a public hearing on the grant application at 7 p.m. tomorrow.
NEWS
By Maria Blackburn and Maria Blackburn,SUN STAFF | April 17, 2001
The small park at Locust Lane in downtown Westminster could someday become a meeting place, complete with an outdoor cafe, a gurgling fountain and benches, according to recommendations from residents and businesses. "This is really the largest public open space in downtown Westminster," said Westminster Common Councilman L. Gregory Pecoraro. "It's like the town square." Between Davids Jewellers and the Optical Solution, Locust Lane was created in the 1970s as a shopping area and pedestrian walkway from Longwell Avenue parking lots to East Main Street.
NEWS
By Maria Blackburn and Maria Blackburn,SUN STAFF | November 3, 2000
Dozens of onlookers clapped and cheered as the hood and trunk of a 1986 black Crown Victoria were blown 15 feet into the air by a car bomb in downtown Westminster yesterday. The explosion in a municipal parking lot sent flames and thick clouds of smoke into the air. How could people not be excited? It isn't every day that "America's Most Wanted" comes to town. "I never saw something like that before," said Darnae Ambush, 12, of Westminster, who watched the filming with her aunt and 7-year-old cousin James Samms.
NEWS
By Amy L. Miller and Amy L. Miller,Sun Staff Writer | August 1, 1994
If someone calls your home this week and asks your opinion of downtown Westminster, it's not a marketing company trying to sell you something.It's the city calling, looking for data to help an Alexandria, Va., consulting firm prepare a strategic plan to revitalize downtown Westminster, said Karen Blandford, administrator of the city office of Housing and Community Development."
NEWS
July 7, 1997
THE CLOSING OF T.W. Mather Inc. last fall left a dangerous hole at 31 E. Main St. in downtown Westminster -- probably the most important building in the heart of the Carroll County seat other than the county library.Mather's small department store was the anchor of a business district that, like so many small-town downtowns, has been fighting for a decade to stay above water as merchants migrate to the mall and other locations along the commuter strips. A vacant storefront at this prominent location amounts to blight.
NEWS
By Sheridan Lyons and Sheridan Lyons,SUN STAFF | July 23, 2000
J.C. Penney will return next month to downtown Westminster, 10 years after closing its doors on Main Street. A catalog-merchant store is scheduled to open Aug. 23 inside the Golf Etc. store in the Old Firehouse building at 66 E. Main St., according to the store owner and a spokesman for J.C. Penney Co. Inc. from its headquarters in Plano, Texas. "Our merchant program is where we go into an existing business and they manage the catalog desk," said Tim Lyons, a public relations coordinator who handles store openings and closings.
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