By DAN DEARTH
7:56 PM EDT, July 25, 2012
Workers are one step closer to finishing construction of a $12 million, environmentally friendly office building at Fountainhead Plaza in Hagerstown.
Earlier this month, construction workers started to raise the side panels of the Fountainhead One Professional Offices building, a 55,000-square-foot project that is taking the spot of a demolished Martin’s supermarket at 13200 Pennsylvania Ave.
Developer Asad Ghattas said the offices should be finished by Dec. 1.
Once the panels were up, he said, “the steel people will come in and put the deck on the roof.”
Ghattas said the Martin’s supermarket moved because there wasn’t enough space at Fountainhead Plaza to install gas pumps.
He said the Fountainhead One project took advantage of Washington County’s pad-ready incentive, a program that defers some costs and offers a property tax credit for projects that renovate the site of an existing building.
The pad-ready incentive also includes projects that involve the demolition of one building to construct another in its place.
Ghattas said his company, Ghattas Enterprises, has built “green” or environmentally friendly buildings in the past.
He said the county’s green building tax credit contributed to his decision to make the Fountainhead One project a green project.
“The reward is great,” he said. “It’s good for the environment and saves energy bills for the tenant.”
The company was able to recycle more than 90 percent of the rubble from the demolition of Martin’s, and recycled materials will be used as much as possible in the new office building, Ghattas said.
Some of the other green features include, low-energy light fixtures, ultra low-flow toilets, motion sensors at the faucets, and a high-efficiency heating, ventilation and air conditioning unit.
Ghattas Enterprises said it also is buying wood for the project from foresters who practice responsible logging, such as replanting trees to replace ones that were cut down.
Demolition of Martin’s began around February, Ghattas said. The work is being done by Waynesboro (Pa.) Construction.
Steve Young, accountant for Ghattas Enterprises, said the project will employ 32 people.
He said no tenants have signed on at this point to rent space at the building.
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