A Grand Vision For Development

The Exponent Telegram

Editorial by Kevin Courtney

(Sunday, September 28, 2003)

Over the next decade or two, we could very well be witness to our area becoming a hub of economic activity for not only West Virginia, but the entire country.

Developers of Charles Pointe, the planned community proposed for the eastern side of Interstate 79/W. Va. 279, announced last week that construction should begin by next spring. The project is being undertaken through a partnership of Genesis Partners, West Virginia University, CB Richard Ellis/Pittsburgh and the city of Bridgeport.

Their vision for Charles Pointe is nothing short of awesome.

Described on its Web site as a "new economy" model for the state, Charles Pointe is envisioned as a "place where technology and commerce come together in an environment that holds sacred the beauty and history that is ours." Planners see a development that will attract businesses and organizations from around the world; a center for "research, education and job development."

Those are pretty grand statements. But developers and determined – and confident – they will validate those claims. And with such substantial investments already made on the local level, we have no reason to doubt the developers are going to follow through with their claims.

The 750 million project is to be built on 2,000 acres. It will include 1,400 homes, a hotel, recreational trials and parks, golf course, shopping center and more.

Initial construction next year will include a hotel, conference center and a number of retail and office units. Developers believe that once construction begins, it will have a positive, snowball-type effect. Many national-level lenders, they say, will likely want to become involved once the community begins to grow.

It’s difficult to comprehend the scope of what Charles Pointe’s effect on the area will be several years from now. But we’re reasonably certain it will be an enormously positive one.