2012 Demolition Expected for Old BB&T Building

The Bel Air Board of Commissioners is expected to award a contract to demolish the building that used to house the BB&T Bank on Main Street.


move to Main Street is likely years away, according to the town administrator, but the project to add parking in downtown Bel Air is in motion.

While the town may eventually move its main building to the site of what is now the old  Bank building on Main Street, for now, the plan is to have the building demolished and replaced with a parking lot.

The town purchased the 19,700-square-foot building at 33–37 S. Main St. earlier this year under .

The structure is next to the headquarters and across the street from .

The plan is to demolish the building, put in parking and eventually build a new town hall on the property. The Bel Air Police Department, currently on the lower floor of the existing Town Hall, would take over both floors.

"A long-term option is to construct a municipal building [on Main Street], nothing’s changed," Town Administrator Chris Schlehr said Thursday.

That option, however may take some time to come to fruition.

"Unfortunately, the economy is going to have to get a lot better before we do that, so it’s going to be a parking lot for years," Schlehr said.

Randy Robertson, Bel Air's director of public works, said during Tuesday's work session that the six bids for demolition work ranged from $251,230 to about $420,000.

The contract will involve demolition of the building, removal of hazardous materials, filling in the basement area, leveling the area and paving the property into a 33-space parking lot, Robertson said.

The demolition will involve "no wrecking balls," Robertson said. "Hopefully, we’ll be doing it in February, early March."

The town is also looking into the possibility of connecting the parking lot to the Hickory parking garage with an additional entrance to further facilitate parking.

"That would make the garage accessible from Main Street," Schlehr said at the meeting.

FLRush December 16, 2011 at 01:51 PM
It's hard to believe this building is in that poor a shape to justify tearing it down and I wonder why the Town would not consider remodeling and utilizing the building as is, I have heard no mention of the condition of the building. I guess in the alternative Bel Air will have one of the most expensive parking lots in the State.
Karl Schuub December 16, 2011 at 03:20 PM
Putting a bunch of parking lots right along main street isn't exactly creating that people-friendly esthetic. Why can't we concentrate the parking at least away from Main Street back and away from the shopping/strolling areas - once they put in a parking lot it'll stay a parking lot and be a hideous blight. If it's supposed to be all about cars then go to the Harford Mall - thought the old downtown revitalization was about creating comfortable areas for people to walk and look? If they just need to tear down the building for whatever reason how about a municipal flower garden with benches and a fountain - a place to rest your feet, enjoy your lunch or meet freinds?
Karl Schuub December 16, 2011 at 03:58 PM
I might add how much cheaper it would be to remove if indeed they eventually build city offices there if it were just flowers and dirt as opposed to 6 inches of asphalt w/ meters. Even given that eventuality...why do we need city offices along main street in the shopping district? Adding another retail opportunity instead adds to the ambience and creates another reason to be downtown both after hours and weekends. Move city offices a block off main street - it would make more sense. How about reclaiming the old Bel Air High School and Graded Academy; doing some upgrades and modernizations thereby saving a historic building; understood the cost would be pretty high but jeez we must have lots of extra money; after all we're giving it away to public employees as it is - it'd be a plus, plus all around.


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