City Officials Hope Development Plan Will Revitalize Downtown Hagerstown


HAGERSTOWN, Md. - Filling the streets of Downtown Hagerstown with more arts and entertainment events, business opportunities and visitors are just a few of the goals for the city's new 10-year Downtown Hagerstown Economic Analysis and Implementation Plan.

The plan has eight projects that will help expand current programs and develop new ones.

"Things that the city and partners in the private sector can do to increase the values in Hagerstown. To drive, increase investment, to create jobs," said Mayor David Gysberts. "So the idea is that all of these projects are feasible based on the assumptions that are in that report."

One of these projects is expanding one of downtown's largest attractions, the Maryland Theatre.

"We attract 100,000 people annually so I think that by investing in the theater you're opening up the opportunity to have visitors come to the downtown that may never have come otherwise," said Jessica Green, Operations Director at the Maryland Theatre. 

With this plan, officials want to increase performances from 150 to 225 a year, create new a entrance, offices and performance space and improve the theater's seating and "back of house."

"So we can offer different multi-use spaces, maybe dance classes, maybe more classroom space for the Barbara Ingram School and also different areas of the theater that would allow our patrons to have a better theater experience," said Green.

In the first year, the plan includes expanding Downtown event programming and the Theatre is doing just that with their revamped summer Wind Down series.

"We're really starting to include many more of the local restaurants at our events, we're having kids activities," said Green. "Really trying to attract a wider demographic to our Wind Down series."

The Mayor said the plan will cost nearly $125 million but the majority will be private investment and this project should create an estimated 875 new jobs in the future.

"The idea is you take public money to leverage the private investments so we every dollar being invested, and that could be county, state and Hagerstown money, we would be getting three dollars in private investment," said Mayor Gysberts.

The eight catalytic projects are: Strategy for Office Development & Recruitment, Maryland Theater Expansion Project, USMH Expansion Support Strategy, Hotel/Conference Center & Heritage Center/Commemorative Park, Linking City Park and A&E District with Trail and New Housing, Expanded Downtown Arts/Events Programming Strategy, Expanded Operations of the City Farmers Market and Expanded & Targeted Home Ownership Support Strategies.

To view thefull ten year plan in detail, click here:

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