3,000-seat stadium, expansion at conference center should
lead to retail, residential, commercial growth
Sunday, April 15, 2012
By Darlene Taylor-Morgan
– Charles Pointe, the $1.4 billion master planned community off W.Va. 279 in
Bridgeport, has major plans for the next few years.
A 22,000-square-foot retail center called The Commons is
planned this year.
Then in 2014, the Washington (Pa.) Wild Things, a professional minor
league baseball team, and Genesis Partners will bring a team and a stadium to
The stadium will seat 3,000 and will have an artificial
playing surface. It will be built to
allow an additional 4,800-seat expansion, according to Jamie Corton, managing
partner of Genesis Partners.
The initial investment is estimated to be $15 million to $20
million, he said.
Besides a 50-game home schedule for the professional team,
the stadium also could be used for college and high school baseball games,
concerts, circuses and other community events, Corton said.
Premier Commercial has purchased the land located between
Buffalo Wild Wings and Microtel Inn & Suites for the retail center. It has secured Firehouse Subs and is in
negotiations with a Mexican and an Asian restaurant for the center, Mark
Dellana said. He is the executive
director of development.
and parking area also are expanding, Dellana said. The facility soon will be able to hold more
than 400 guests.
The building expansion will be in both the front and the
back, he said. It currently has 60,000
visitors a year, and officials see that number doubling in coming years.
The $1.4 billion in development is within 1,514 acres of the
community. It will allow for 2,281
residential units, 2,759,500 square feet of retail and office space and 446
acres of open space.
Dellana said the nearly 30 percent of open space is very
important as officials look at the future development of the community.
But when it comes to the retail and office structures, they
must be unique to the area.
“We want to bring buildings people are used to seeing on
vacations here,” he said. “There is an
international clientele coming here, and we want what the rest of the country
Infrastructure in place includes underground fiber optics,
easy access to Interstate 79, W.Va. 279 and W.Va. 131, adequate water, sanitary
sewer and stormwater management.
A study has shown that 36,000 vehicles travel past Exit 124
of Interstate 79 daily, which ranks as the third highest traffic volume in West
Corton said the Charles Pointe team is committed to
providing residents and businesses that locate within the community a quality
of life and an environment for sustainable, healthy communities.
“For over 70 years, our related companies have been
dedicated to West Virginia
job creation. We are pleased with the
development progress over the past year and are very excited about developments
coming to fruition in the near future,” Corton said.
“The success of Charles
Pointe, now and in the future, is based on public/private partnerships. We, as a community, are very fortunate to
have public leadership (from Bridgeport
to the federal government) who understands the benefits and roles of the public
sector by providing tools for maximizing the economic benefits of new
development and job creation. Together
our mutual efforts benefit all West Virginians.”
Charles Pointe is two miles from the FBI Biometrics
Center with 3,000
employees. It is adjacent to United Hospital
Center, a 316-bed, 681,440-square-foot
hospital with about 1,900 employees, as well as North Central
West Virginia Airport.
There are currently a total of 162 residential units and
about 270,000 square feet of commercial property in Charles Pointe North. That represents about one-tenth of total
The total private sector investment to date is in excess of
$75 million, according to Robert Stuart, director of planning/engineering.
The latest businesses to open are BFS Food Services, Dairy
Queen, Little Caesar’s Pizza and Gloria Jean’s Coffees. Officials also are in talks with two hotel
The $7.4 million recreational complex is due to open today.
Other completed building projects are Cubby’s Childcare Center, Wingate by Wyndham, Petroleum
Development Corporation Eastern Regional Headquarters, Fairmont Federal Credit
Union and Womancare Inc., medical office.
A retail feasibility analysis and market analysts suggest
the development would support a combination of big-box centers, outlet centers,
lifestyle centers, a destination resort and retail centers, Stuart said.
“Negotiations are under way with two major high-impact
entities to meet this market demand,” he said.
Charles Pointe will support 5,836 direct jobs and 5,396
indirect jobs at full buildout, Stuart said.
To date, the development supports about 300 full-time and more than 100
“Projects being considered in conjunction with the Harrison
County Commission, which approved the tax increment financing district there,
total $392,387,290,” he said.
Local officials are excited about the boost from the
economic development activity.
“Any development in Harrison County
is a plus for the residents,” Harrison County Commission President Bernie
Fazzini said. “I’m looking forward to
the next phase, and hopefully that will get under way shortly.”
Bridgeport Mayor Jim Christie said the economic activity
that has taken place to this date has been tremendous.
“With the new housing, a new 96-unit apartment complex
completed and B&O tax revenue from various construction jobs on the site
has made a tremendous economic impact on the city,” Christie said. “I’m excited about it. It’s going to be a great economic boost to
the city and the county.
Construction on The Commons is expected to begin soon, and
it will create opportunity for shopping, eating and additional employment, he