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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Please forgive me if there is an existing thread. The search is not working for me at the moment...

Tri-State Racetrack

Tri-State Racetrack wants new Interstate 64 interchange
Entire thread on Tri-State's possible expansion

Notes --
1. Tri-State Racetrack and Gaming Center wants a new Interstate 64 interchange constructed west of the Cross Lanes interchange since it would ease congestion at the existing exit. The center states that "increased traffic congestion" is "a real possibility" if voters approve table games.
2. The West Virginia Department of Highways, however, does not have the money for the project. A 2004 study by West Virginia University's Bureau of Business and Economic Research, and other subsequent reviews have stated that the state's road fun has not kept up with inflation. An increase in revenue is necessary to maintain the existing highway system.
3. DOH has agreed to do a traffic count to see how much traffic goes into Cross Lanes, the racetrack, and to the Nitro Marketplace. But actual construction is most likely not possible -- the DOH has a 170-project wish list. The interchange is not on it.
3a. The only Tri-State project on the wish list comes in at #79 - Widening WV 622 from three to five lanes from Interstate 64 to just north of WV 62. It is a .8 mi. project that could cost $19.2 million.
3b. The DOH built an interchange off of Interstate 70 for Cabella's in 2005 that cost $13 million.
3c. Mountaineer Race Track and Gaming Resort has lobbied for years for a new bridge to be constructed across the Ohio River to improve access. It is currently #100 on the list, estimated to cost $50 million.
3d. Total, the wish list comes out to $19.5 BILLION. The state currently has no sources of funding for the vast majority of the projects.

Article information: "Tri-State Racetrack wants new Interstate 64 interchange, by George Hohmann, Daily Mail [Charleston], June 5, 2007"
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Capitol Music Hall

WNHAC Blames Fire Code Article
Older news on Capitol Music Hall

Notes --
1. Wheeling Councilman Barry Crow believes that Wheeling is close to taking the first step in purchasing Capitol Music Hall from Live Nation. Live Nation closed the theater earlier in May; Wheeling Fire Chief stated that the Capitol has had numerous violations over the past 40 years. Such violations include needed upgrades to the alarm system and sprinklers.
2. The Executive director of the Wheeling National Heritage Area Corp stated in a report that "The Intelligencer that outlined 23 fire code violations at the Capitol and not the fire code violations themselves, was possibly a reason for the historic structure’s closure."
3. The theater is home to several radio stations and a ticket box office. In the past, it has hosted numerous musical acts, plays, musicals, and dance recitals. It was once home to the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra (it's final concert of the season was held at a local cathedral because of the violations).
4. The city will apply for various grants, as well as tax increment financing. The asking price is $850,000, and it will cost $2 to $3 million to bring the building up to code. The Wheeling Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Wheeling National Heritage Area Corporation will also help -- just not in financing.

Article information: "WNHAC Blames Fire Code Article, By CASEY JUNKINS, Wheeling News-Register, 6/2/7"
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Horray! Progress! :angry:

Random Wheeling news

Fast Service Building To Be Demolished

Notes --
1. The former Fast Service Center on Main Street, and the former Bugsy's building -- both historical structures -- will be demolished by the end of June. Both buildings were closed by city officials last year due to building code violations. The owners were given the option to repair or demolishe them.
1a. John Barnes, owner of the Fast Service Center, decided to demolish the property instead of preform costly repairs. Barnes has worked at the Center for over four decades -- a business started by his dad in 1950. Repair estimates were over $60,000.
2. Meanwhile, the city will begin demolition soon on the former Koffee Shop and Friebertshauser buildings on Market Street Plaza -- that caught fire last year.

Article information: "Fast Service Building To Be Demolished, By CASEY JUNKINS, Wheeling News-Register, 6/4/7"
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
[Htgn] New clinic offers more space for med students

New clinic offers more space for med students

Notes --
1. The new clinic associated with Marshall University's Robert C. Byrd Center for Rural Health might increase enrollment at the medical school by as much as 50%. Enrollment is currently around 200, however, the university expects to see this increase to 300 over the next few years.
2. The new center offers much more space for care of the patients, and it could bring in more students looking to study in specialty fields -- and perhaps practice and stay in the area.
3. It is located at 1249 15th St. at the former Fairfield Stadium site, and opened on June 4. Patients who received care at the Marshall University's Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine's Internal Medicine and Cardiovascular Services will now come to this site for continued assistance.
3a. The first floor hosts medical school courses, while the remainder of the structure houses the cardiovascular services, internal medicine, the Hanshaw Geriatric Center, and the Marshall Diabetes Center.
3b. The 88,000 sq. ft. building cost $24 million to construct; the last $11 million came in 2004 when Robert C. Byrd (D-WVa) secured a federal appropriation. It can handle 250 patient visits per day.

Article information: "New clinic offers more space for med students, By Sarah Zopfi Hubbard, The Herald-Dispatch, June, 6, 2007"
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
State museum gets money to start construction

State museum gets money to start construction

Notes --
1. Fall 2008 could be when the new $17.6 million interactive state museum opens, although the final piece of funding has yet to be secured. Bids for construction could be let by late summer or early fall. Construction could begin by September.
2. West Virginia has been without a state museum for more than three years, after the old facility on the ground level of the Culture Center was gutted in anticipation of a new, modern facility. However, cost estimates for the new museum have nearly tripled from the original $6 million that was proposed in 1998.
3. The new design features a high-tech, interactive "show path" timeline, that takes visitors from the prehistoric to the present-day. It also contains 29 "discovery rooms" that feature displays and artifacts from specific events in the state's history.
4. A $6 million appropriation was sought during the 2007 regular session for the construction of the museum, but state legislatures did not include the funding in the 2007-2008 state budget. A $3 million transfer from the Department of Administration's Capitol Improvement fund, along with $11 million in previous legislative appropriations, brings the project to within $3.6 million of what is needed. The governor has pledged to find the funding needed to complete the museum.

Article information: "State museum gets money to start construction, By Phil Kabler, Charleston Gazette, June 6, 2007"[Charleston] Random news from the Capitol City
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Random Weirton news

Authority ponders possible projects
Archive of Weirton development news

Notes --
1. The Weirton Redevelopment Authority is working on a proposal to create a northern redevelopment district in the city; it also discussed the possibility of new development projects. The district planned includes land from Virginia Avenue to St. Johns Road, and includes the Weirton Steel property, sections of Brown's Island, and the avenues along County Road.
2. The authority is also seeking ways to beautify the downtown Weirton area. It may include the planting of trees along Main Street.

Article information: "Authority ponders possible projects, By GIOVANNI P. ROSSI, Weirton Daily Times, June 07, 2007"
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
re: [Wheeling] Capitol Music Hall

Charitable Group Looks at Capitol (w/ photograph)

Notes --
1. Diamond Entertainment and Production Co. Inc., a charitable organization based out of East Liverpool, Ohio, is interested in purchasing the Capitol Music Hall. However, the city is possibly "close" to taking its first step in purchasing the theater. The city, though, would need to keep the Capitol closed while renovations and repairs are done. If the city purchased the Capitol, it would not operate the facility in its current condition.
2. Diamond is not yet sure if they can afford the $850,000 price tag and renovation and repair costs.
3. The city gave Live Nation, the current owner, "every opportunity" to complete the repairs -- although they did not seem to want to put any money into it.
4. It will cost anywhere from $3 to $5 million to renovate and bring the building into code.

Article information: "Charitable Group Looks at Capitol, By CASEY JUNKINS, Wheeling News-Register, 6/7/7"
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Random Charleston news

Sale of Boll building boosts downtown trend

Notes --
1. The recent sale of the Boll Furniture building in downtown Charleston should "accelerate" a redevelopment trend on the east side. Doublet Enterprises LLC, a company led by Triana Energy LLC founder Henry Harmon, purchased the 100-year old six-story building at 900 Virginia Street East on June 6 for $1.2 million. The 60,000 sq. ft. building is next to an underutilized city parking structure.
2. The purchase of the building and the relocation of Triana will likely pull some of the emphasis on development east, as for years, the development was west of Capitol Street. The opening of the Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences have also boosted the area's property values. The move of Triana will help ease downtown office prices.
2a. BB&T Square, Chase Tower, Huntington Square, Laidley Tower and United Center -- Charleston's office towers, are either full or nearly full. (See this thread for more information.)
2b. Triana's Boll building, plus the moving of BrickStreet Mutual Insurance to the Charleston Town Center mall, where it is building its 80,000 sq. ft. headquarters, should provide more relief. The move of Triana should also generate interest in retail -- especially restaurants -- on the east side.
3. Other projects nearby on the east end include a 2004 redevelopment of 901 Quarrier Street by the law firm, Pullin Flower & Flanagan PLLC.

Article information: "Sale of Boll building boosts downtown trend, By Joe Morris, The Charleston Gazette, June 7, 2007"
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
New Kanawha County Public Library

Library project gets big donations
Archived thread on the new Kanawha County Public Library (contains renderings)

Notes --
1. A new downtown public library seems more feasible. On June 7, Kanawha County Public Library officials announced three gifts of $1 million or more. So far, they have raised nearly $13 million in the campaign -- their goal is $25 million from individuals, businesses, and foundations, and $25 million in public money, some or all of which could come from a bond that would require voter approval. The fundraising effort is "ahead of schedule."
1a. The Clay Foundation has promised $5 million, and the Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation has pledged $1 million.
2. The new library would cost $40 million and would be positioned almost directly across from the Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences at the southwest corner of Lee Street and Leon Sullivan Way.
3. Another $10 million would go to replace the libraries at Marmet and Elk Valley, expand nearly new structures in Cross Lanes and Sissonville, and renovate and expand older facilities in St. Albans and Dunbar.
4. Groundbreaking is planned for fall 2009 with an opening in fall 2011.

Article information: "Library project gets big donations, By Bob Schwarz, The Charleston Gazette, June 8, 2007"
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
[Htgn] Keith-Albee updates

Study to recommend improvements to Keith-Albee
Study to recommend improvements to Keith-Albee, By Jean Tarbett Hardiman, Herald-Dispatch, June 12, 2007

A fasibility study is nearing completion on the Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center. Sachs Morgan Studio, a New York theater design specialist, was in "awe" of how well-preserved parts of the theater have remained, but are recommending some changes. These changes include a deeper stage, a bigger lobby, a bigger bar with a catering area, more dressing room space, and "many more" ladies toilets. The changes, however, will rank the Keith-Albee as a state-of-the-art performance center.

It will later divulge into recommendations specific to a performance space -- such as stage rigging and setup. The shallow stage, for instance, was ideal for Vaudeville acts in the 1920s, but is not recommended for the lavish performances shown today. Another recommendation is for additional women toilets. Today's standard is two ladies toilets for every 100 seats. The theater can host 2,600, so the building should have 52 women's toilets, however, it has 10.

The recommendations stemmed from many walking tours of the facility, and many old photographs and blueprints of the historic structure. Many of its original features, such as the custom-made railings, lighting, and furniture, are in "good shape."

The study was funded by the Marshall University Foundation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
[Charleston] New CAMC apartment complex to open

CAMC housing nearly ready
CAMC housing nearly ready, By Eric Eyre, Charleston Gazette, June 13, 2007

The Charleston Area Medical Center (CAMC) constructed a new 24-unit apartment building, called Jefferson Place, for medical school students and graduates who are conducting their residency training at CAMC. It has been at least 10 years since a new apartment project was built in Charleston's downtown or East End. The new $4.5 million building, at Morris and Quarrier Streets, was constructed at the site of the former Thomas Jefferson Junior High School and will open on July 1. All 24 units, which consist of one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments, have been rented. Prices start at $595/month to $725/month.

The old school was purchased for $375,000 and demolished. The junior high's cornerstone was salvaged and will be installed in a landscaped area near the complex. It served as Charleston High School from 1915 to 1926 before becoming a junior high.

Approximately 40% of West Virginia University's medical students come to Charleston for their last two years of medical school. The complex joins two other CAMC apartments that are both near CAMC Memorial hospital.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
[Charleston] Univ. of Char. will open first downtown campus

University of Charleston will open first downtown campus
University of Charleston will open first downtown campus, by George Hohmann, Daily Mail, June 13, 2007

The University of Charleston will open a graduate school of business and locate it in the downtown. It will take the place of Boll Furniture on the second floor. This is the same building that was purchased last week by Triana Energy founder Henry Harmon for $1.2 million. It is slated for remodeling into Class A office space. The investors are donating the second floor to the university.

This marks the first off-campus academic site for the university, and the second "higher education institution presence" in the downtown -- with West Virginia State University's Capitol Center Theater on Summers Street being the other one. The location of the program in the downtown would foster possibilities for cooperative education and internships. Fall 2008 would be the "target date" for opening, and could have 130 to 150 graduate students initially.

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Boll Furniture has been at 900 Virginia Street East (at the foot of the south Side Bridge) since 1974. The furniture store is going out of business. Triana will take control of the six-story, 100-year-old building on September 1.

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Triana Energy is actively involved with UC. The company drilled a natural gas well on the edge of Blackwell Field in March 2004, and provides the university with revenue. The company also helped with financing with UC purchased Watt Powell Park in November 2004. In 2005, Triana donated $1 million towards the renovation of Blackwell Field, which has since been renamed Triana Field.

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UC began offering an executive MBA in 1987, and offers an accelerated MBA for immediate graduates. The university then established the Entrepreneurship Center in 2002. In December 2006, UC announced the creation of Golden Eagle Ventures, with a goal of raising $2 million that will be invested in early stage West Virginia businesses that have "strong growth opportunities."
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Mountaineer Race Track and Gaming Resort

:banana: This is a huge project!

Mountaineer details plans for expansion
Mountaineer details plans for expansion, Herald Star, June 14, 2007

The Mountaineer Race Track and Gaming Resort is "moving forward" on a master plan to develop more than 2,000 unused acres that it owns around the existing resort, while waiting on the table games vote on the June 30 election. The master plan includes a links-style golf course on a closed quarry south of the existing site, a 1,500 car parking garage, a 250-room addition to the existing Grande Hotel, and a renovation of a circa-1800s apple barn into a "historic" restaurant. Bike and equestrian trails, skeet shooting, archery fields, public fishing and boating docks, and the construction of upscale single-family homes, condos, and retail would also be included.

It is expected to create 700 new jobs along the 3 miles of undeveloped riverfront property.

For the gravel pit that is closed, Mountaineer has received a "letter of intent" for mining the land. Shelly and Sands Inc. would like to reopen the pit to supply road building aggregate, and in return, Mountaineer would receive royalties and return the land to its original contour in preparation for the golf course. Near the golf course would be two neighborhoods. One would contain 170 units at the river's edge, and 90 at the upper ridge site near WV 2.

The existing 8,000 sq. ft. apple barn would be renovated into a period restaurant brewery. It is located along the Ohio River, and would feature a wrap-around iron balcony for outdoor dining. Discussions are ongoing with a Columbus, Ohio company to open an "Irish Pub".

The 250-room hotel addition to the Grande Hotel will replace the 1960s lodge-style structure -- which was originally part of the Waterford Park Inn. The new building would follow the architecture of early 1900s Chicago. On the north side of the new hotel would be a multipurpose building that could host a variety of functions.

In the 'village' would be retail shops and a gas station, and offices and apartment complexes on the upper floors.

For outdoor enthusiasts, there will be 100 spaces for RVs and an adventure sports area. A 7,000 sq. ft. lodge would be the center hub and feature and outdoor gear and refreshment shop. Besides a skeet course, shooting range, and an archery field, it would feature an off-road course for 4x4.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
[S. Charleston] WVU Charleston Research Campus

Dow to raze office building
Dow to raze office building, by George Hohmann, Charleston Daily Mail, June 14, 2007

Building 701, the original office building at the South Charleston Technical Center from 1949, will be demolished. The demolition is part of a long-term business plan it is developing with West Virginia University for the technical center. The tear-down will reduce the overall cost of operating the campus. The building overlooks the Kanawha Turnpike, Interstate 64, the South Charleston rail yards, and the Union Carbide-Dow Chemical's South Charleston plant.

The five-story office and research structure contains 105,000 sq. ft. of space. There are three floors of laboratories and offices, an office penthouse and a full basement.

Representatives from WVU and Union Carbide Corp-Dow met with the building's tenants on April 12 and announced plans to tear down the building and move them to Building 740 -- a newer building from the 1960s -- and all relocation expenses are being paid by Union Carbide-Dow. Building 740 is five floors of laboratories, offices, and has a full basement -- with 130,000 sq. ft. of space.

Interior abatement work on Building 701 will begin on July 1, and exterior demolition will begin in the fall. The main tenant of Building 701 was Mid-Atlantic Technology, Research & Innovation Center, which moved to the building in January 2005 and refurbished some of the labs.

In 2001, Dow Chemical bought Union Carbide, however, a down turn in the chemical industry occurred after the deal closed and the West Virginia operations went through many downsizings. Several buildings in the tech center were torn down in 2006, including Building 791 -- the cafeteria. In March 2006, Union Carbide announced that it was to donate 58 acres at the park to WVU, but it has not yet taken place. Dow is currently working on the transfer agreement, and the university would likely build an integrated campus at the park. WVU would relocate its Charleston extension and extended learning programs to the park, and would probably be called the "WVU Charleston Research Campus".
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Pullman Square

Pullman additions planned
Pullman additions planned, By JEAN TARBETT HARDIMAN, Herald-Dispatch, June 16, 2007

Pullman Square will be gaining new restaurants and retail over the next month. Benny's Cheesesteak will open next week near the former site of the Uno and West Virginia Bistro. It is the second location for the Columbus-based restaurant that sells Philadelphia-style hoagies, wings, wraps, beer, etc. Uno Chicago Grill is also making a return, coming back to its former location at Pullman. It will be under the franchise of Rick Rose, who owns some Bennigan's restaurants in Ohio, and under Mike Bartrum, a retired NFL player. The restaurant sells Chicago-style pizza and could open by July 30.

Uno originally opened in 2005, but the original owners were used just a few months layer for not paying the builders, suppliers, and utilities. The owners changed the name to the West Virginia Bistro in 2006 and was headed by Jack Whitter (the powerball winner) -- however, another lawsuit was filed after the company complained that the Bistro owed thousands for rent and other closed. It closed in February 2007.

Empire Books and News has changed owners and is now managed by Bill Dargusch and Metropolitian Partners, the private arm of Pullman Square. John Gaylord, the previous owner, has started up other stores and has been making changes. Empire Books will undergo a slight remodeling, shifting the layout to something more user-friendly, putting an emphasis on bargin books and expanding the children's section. It will also put a stronger focus on local authors and schedule more book-signings. A coffee bar could be reintroduced soon as well.

Along with that, Heels will be making its debut in July. It is owned by Deneene Chafin, who owns the adjacent Inspired and Runway Couture. It will carry brands not known in the area and will compliment the existing stores.

Five Guys Famous Burgers and Fries could open in August, and construction on the Community Trust Bank could begin 'anytime'.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
re: [Wheeling] Capitol Music Hall

Capitol Is Still On The Market
By CASEY JUNKINS, Wheeling News-Register, June 16, 2007

A third potential buyer is now looking at the Capitol Music Hall in Wheeling, while the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra is looking at three potential new homes. The symphony moved its season finale out of the Capitol after 23 fire code violations discovered in May. They do not plan on any future performances at the theater while Live Nation owns it. The three potential buyers include the city of Wheeling, Diamond Entertainment and Production Co. Inc. (E. Liverpool, Ohio), and an unnamed party. The three potential locations for the orchestra includes St. Joseph's Cathedral, where the season's finale was held, an unspecified local church, and the John Marshall High School Center for Performing Arts.
 
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