Charles Pointe officials expect more growth this year

After strong 2012, expanded dining, retail, housing options planned to complement rec complex, stadium

The Exponent Telegram

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

By        Erin Beck

BRIDGEPORT – The last calendar year brought a shopping plaza and the opening of a new recreation complex to Bridgeport as part of the Charles Pointe development.

Officials say residents can expect to see more growth in the area in the coming year, including additional dining options in the shopping plaza and new hotels.

Charles Pointe is a 1,700-acre mixed-use development area adjacent to and immediately accessible from Interstate 79, W.Va. 279, W.Va. 131 and the North Central West Virginia Regional Airport.

Charles Pointe Commons, a 25,000-square-foot retail center, should be built out to complete occupancy this year, according to Mark Dellana, director of development at Charles Pointe.

Cardinal Pediatrics and U.S. Cellular are already open for business in the plaza.

This spring and summer, residents should look for an upscale Italian restaurant and a Firehouse Subs, according to Dellana.

Residents can also expect to see another restaurant move in and likely a pharmacy, he said.

An additional 5,000-square-foot development will be added when the weather breaks, according to David Biafora, partner with site developer Metro Rentals.

The developer is in talks with a grocery store chain about coming to the retail plaza this year, as well.

BFS, Dairy Queen, Little Caesar’s Pizza, Gloria Jean’s Coffee and a car wash also opened up in Charles Pointe in 2012.

Retail and dining options are a must for modern-day office parks, according to Dellana.

“People, when they go to work, want to be able to walk out and cash a check and grab a burger,” he said.

Charles Pointe is meant to be a place where residents can find work, housing and recreational options – all within walking distance, according to Dellana.

“It’s building a community,” he said.

Developers continued to build all three of those core components during the year.

Metro Rentals completed a 96-apartment unit development early in 2012.

Several housing units also were sold, including three at Parkview Village Duplexes, two single family units at Hunters Chase and nine single family houses at Worthington Village, according to Dellana.

That left 30 units available at Parkview Village Duplexes, 35 at Worthington Village and about seven at Hunters Chase, according to Dellana.

Those housing units were all built by S&A Homes.

In addition to the continued development of duplexes and townhomes, more apartments are in the works, Dellana said.

“One of the groups we’re talking to wants to come in and elevate the market,” he said.

“They feel a 10-county region is staying in ho-hum apartments.”

The apartments will be targeted toward professionals staying in the region for work who want their living quarters here to feel like home.

At least five career clusters in the area have created the opportunity for development at Charles Pointe, according to Dellana.

“We are very fortunate in this are,” he said.

Diverse jobs in healthcare, aviation, government, education and oil and gas show that the area is somewhat “inflation-proof,” he added.

Charles Pointe currently supports more than 440 direct jobs and an estimated 1,000-plus indirect jobs, according to Robert Stuart, director of planning/engineering at Genesis Partners.

He estimated about 50 jobs were added in 2012.

Major employers there include PDC Energy, Toothman Rice, Harrison Rural Electrification, the Bridgeport Conference Center and the Fairmont Federal Credit Union.

Office tenants are located in the red brick Building 600 at Charles Pointe.

The last year brought Noblis and the expansion of Arnett Foster Toothman in the office building.

Charles Pointe hopes to fill the building with its final tenants in 2013.

The oil and gas jobs in the area mean that hotels are always fully booked, so residents can also expect to see new hotels at Charles Pointe, according to Dellana.

“We’ve got three groups looking right now at different hotel concepts,” he said.

“This area is really ripe for additional hotel rooms.”

2013 will also bring development at Charles Pointe related to the new 40-acre Bridgeport Recreation Complex.

And a minor league ballpark is scheduled to open in spring 2014.

An expansive state-of-the-art indoor recreation facility is planned, creating opportunity for commercial property nearby, according to Dellana.

Charles Pointe is working on turning the 40-acre complex into 80 acres of related property, he said.

Residents can look for personal training and shops focused on personal wellness.