Charles Point Project Proceeding - Bridgeport Council OKs Talks With Developer

Clarksburg Exponent Telegram

by Jeff Toquinto, Bridgeport News Editor

BRIDGEPORT (Tuesday, September 25, 2001)

Members of Bridgeport City Council approved a resolution allowing City Manager Kim Haws and Mayor Joe Timms to negotiate a few points of contention with Genesis Partners, developer of the project.

Haws said Bridgeport will be looking to reach an agreement on annexation that will allow it to bring the first 150 acres of the Charles Pointe Development into the city limits.

"This is a preliminary step in finalizing negotiations on annexation,"  said Haws.  "There are terms both sides are looking at, and we're quite close in finalizing this."

If negotiations go as planned, Haws said the issue will be brought back to council for approval.  From there, he said, it would go on to the Harrison County Commission.

Haws said he wasn't sure exactly sure what the 150 acres would be used for.

He did say he expects the property to be used as Genesis has publicly spelled out in the past.  That, he said, would be for commercial-industrial use and also would take in a portion of the city's planned conference center and a new hotel.

Charles Pointe covers more than 2,000 acres along Interstate 79's northbound lane and the state Route 279 Bridgeport Bypass.

All of the acreage is expected eventually to be part of the city as projects are developed.  Haws said this agreement will likely set the groundwork for future annexations.

Right now, it appears a conference center is part of the first potential annexation.  Haws said the city is still planning on the center and will be applying for a $1 million federal grant for water and sewage infrastructure to the area.

Before the city applies for the grant, Haws said, the annexation has to be finalized to city specifications.  The reason for that, he said, is the 70-30 match requirement which means the city would have to pay $300,000 for the extension.

"We're hoping annexation can be initiated to our satisfaction to the middle or the latter part of October," said Haws.

That's when Haws believes the deadline for the grant application will arrive.

Haws also cited negotiations between the developer and several hotel chains.  He said he still is confident the deal for a hotel will be completed.

Along with a hotel, conference center and commercial developments, Charles Pointe is planned to be home to residential housing, a public, 18-hole golf course and a town center, among other amenities.