At or near the top of questions the developers of Charles Pointe, Genesis Partners, receive on a regular basis is the status of the massive earth-moving project that is prepping land for a Menards home improvement location.
Shortly after that question is answered, there is one that almost always follows: “What else is coming?”
Rob Stuart, the Genesis Partners Director of Planning and Engineering, hears it all the time. Even the city of Bridgeport hears it all the time.
“Since earth work started, it is consistent. People want to know what else is coming, and what I don’t think some understand is that there is more than just a site for Menards there,” said Bridgeport Community Development Director Andrea Kerr. “There’s also a thought that everything is done, but this is a long process.
“When you’re moving that much earth, preparing a site and getting everything in order, it can be a year or more before aggressive marketing begins,” Kerr said. “You will see other businesses there, but as of now the only one that has been mentioned is Menards.”
Stuart knows marketing has already begun on the location that includes the Menards area as well as plenty of additional acreage, just as Kerr specified. However, Stuart is doing what most developers do – he is holding his marketing cards close to his chest.
“What we can say is there is interest out there,” said Stuart. “We’re staying pretty tight lipped about it, but we are already actively marketing it.”
Developers typically do just that. Until deals are signed, word almost never leaks of what may be coming. Once work is out that a business is interested in one area, developers from across the region can also get involved in a battle of recruiting on the capitalism front.
Stuart did say the obvious when pressed about the types of businesses that are either showing interest or have been contacted.
“Typically, you’ll get restaurants and service type of retail; pretty much everything on the retail level,” said Stuart. “In a location such as this (sitting at the intersection of Interstate 79 and State Route 279) It’s not uncommon to see hotels, but that market is kind of full.”
The new site is completely empty at this point, minus a whole lot of earth-moving equipment. When completed, there will be 67 acres of developable pad as part of the 160-acre. The acreage is the result of what will essentially be four million cubic yards of earthwork.
“We’ll be glad to assist in development there as we offer economic development incentives. We would certainly look forward to partnering in conjunction with Genesis Partners to use those incentives to help draw business,” said Kerr. “I also am willing to assist by working through the state, who I speak to on a regular basis, about any type of grants that may assist with development there. It’s good for the developers, the city, the community, as well as visitors to the city.”
Editor's Note: Photo by Ben Queen of Ben Queen Photography.