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2 projects in Westminster to get redevelopment honor


Two of downtown Westminster's most notable redevelopment projects will receive awards from Gov. Parris N. Glendening this week on behalf of his Smart Growth initiative.

The Old Firehouse on East Main Street, by David Max of the Max Group, and Paradiso Italian Restaurant on Distillery Drive, by Salvatore and June Romeo, will be honored in the category of redevelopment and revitalization in a ceremony Thursday in Annapolis.

"We're very pleased that both projects we nominated were selected," said Karen K. Blandford, the city's manager of housing and community development. "We do consider Westminster and the developers that we have here to be good examples of the Smart Growth philosophy."

Max bought and redeveloped the former home of Westminster Fire & Hose Company No. 1 at 66 E. Main St. after the firefighters relocated in 1998 to a new station on John Street.

Romeo and his wife took a long-vacant building that was part of the old Sherwood Distillery - known as the Glass House - in 1996 and remodeled it into a popular downtown restaurant.

"It really was one of the most dramatic transformations of a building in town," Blandford said. "And the firehouse has always been a very important symbol in our city, so it was important that its development into another use be sensitive to the history of the building."

The winners were selected by the Maryland Economic Growth, Resource Protection and Planning Commission, under the state Department of Planning.

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