New Charles Pointe housing developments under way

The Exponent Telegram

Sunday, June 10, 2012

By:      Sarah Moore

BRIDGEPORT -        Only 10 percent of Charles Pointe’s 2,281 residential units have been utilized, and officials hope development will help ease the housing shortage in Harrison County.

Worthington Estates, Worthington Village and Hunter’s Chase are currently under construction, and lots are available.

Worthington Estates and Worthington Village are located on the Charles Pointe side of Worthington Drive, which is now connected to W.Va. 131 by Stonebridge Drive that just opened within the last two weeks.

The stone bridge was completed about two years ago, but the road was not finished, Bridgeport Mayor Jim Christie said.

“While building that road, the contractor hit rock he wasn’t expecting, and then winter hit, putting that project about a year behind,” Christie said.

Completion of Stonebridge Drive will make access easier for residents, make it more attractive for potential buyers and more convenient for residents on the other end of Worthington Drive.

“That street is pretty narrow and as more houses have been built, the traffic has increased, and that will continue to grow as more houses are complete,” Christie said.

Worthington Village is a single-home housing development with a total of 72 lots.  Thirty-four of those lots already have houses, and about half a dozen are currently under construction.

“There are still lots for sale,” said Mark Dellana, executive director of development for Genesis Partners.

Those lots are under contract with S&A Homes.  Purchasers of those lots work with that company to select the home of their choice – from style down to the fixtures, he said.

Worthington Estates is a larger lot development, but no houses have been built or started yet, Dellana said.

The estates are one-half to one acre lots.  Purchasers of those lots can choose a contractor of their choice, he explained.

Hunter’s Chase, another S&A Homes-contracted parcel for single-family homes, is a smaller 11-lot development along W.Va. 131.  There are three houses already built, and one is currently under construction, Dellana said.

Officials are hoping these developments can help fill the growing need for homes in the Bridgeport and Harrison County area.

“We are at a record low for the number of houses available on the market in Bridgeport,” Christie said.

Mike Romano, president of the Harrison County Economic Development Authority, believes the shortage of both single-family homes and housing units, such as apartments and townhouses, is due to the “population explosion” in North Central West Virginia.

The FBI center, the natural resources industry, the growing medical field and business growth in general have all, but not exclusively, contributed.

A recent study proved that in order to keep up with the growing population in Bridgeport, 100 new homes would have to be built each year for the next five years, said Dellana.

Another study showed that in Clarksburg alone there is a need for 1,000 high-end apartments within city limits, said Romano.

“You extrapolate that to the entire county, and it’s obvious the need is definitely there,” he said.

“It’s going to require a tremendous amount of housing to fill the demand base.  All corners of Harrison County should be looking to take advantage of that opportunity,” Romano added.

There are plans to build additional apartments and townhomes on some of the remaining land in Charles Pointe’s 1,700 acres.

“That’s an area where we will be pushing.  We have a need in excess of 200-500 apartment units.  We have people filling up hotel rooms when they could be living somewhere if space was available”, Dellana said.

Increasing the amount of residential space in Bridgeport will create additional revenue for the city by increasing the tax base, Christie said.