By Steve Young, Staff Writer The Exponent Telegram
July 24, 2005
BRIDGEPORT - Early next month area residents wanting to get a sneak peek at the Charles Pointe development project finally will get their chance. Genesis Partners, along with their Charles Pointe business partners, will be celebrating an opening of the gate at the site at 9:45 a.m. Aug 6. Genesis Managing Partner James Corton and Gov. Joe Manchin will open the event with a news conference to be followed by tours of the property. Charles Pointe is one of the first master planned community developments in West Virginia. Genesis Partners is developing the community, and when the project is completed it will include residential homes, hotels, retail shops, restaurants and recreational facilities. Bill Phillips, president and CEO of the Phillips Group, said the tour will begin at the North Land Bay area of the development, then proceed down to Route 130 before heading into South Land Bay, which overlooks development in the north. He described the tour as being illustrative. “The entire tour takes about 20 minutes to cover,” he said. “As the tour proceeds, you’ll be able to see the scope of the property and what will go in various places.” Phillips said the Wingate Inn is set to open this fall and so far various infrastructure systems also have been put in place in other parts of the 1,700 acres. To date there has been more than $40 million invested in hotels, the Bridgeport Conference Center, housing and infrastructure going into the property, he said. Genesis Partners has invested $10 million of that total. “It’s great to see things happening,” said Jamie Corton, managing partner of Genesis Partners. His proudest accomplishment has little to do with the physical development of the project. “We’re glad to have the Wingate and the other developments that have come in. But overall I’m proudest of the relationships that we’ve built, with our own people, our customers, the community and the whole effort of people working together. That’s the thing that sticks out in my mind,” he said. The city of Bridgeport is a Charles Pointe partner. Bridgeport Mayor James R. Christie has visited the site numerous times. “ I think (people) are going to be pleasantly surprised, because we’ve been talking about Charles Pointe for four years and talking about the benefits for Bridgeport and Harrison County, but people just don’t realize how much is going on,” he said. Christie said tour participants will be able to see the Wingate Inn, the steel skeleton of the Bridgeport conference center, the first two townhouses that have been built and an office building currently under construction. He believes the area will see the economic benefits of Charles Pointe sooner rather than later. This week the city of Bridgeport’s planning commission approved a 50-acre development site for residential buildings in North Land Bay. “Those will yield tax benefits to the city that will come in six to 12 months, and the labor and job benefits will be seen almost immediately, he said.
Also during the gate opening, there will be food and refreshments, entertainment, giveaways, a live radio remote and children’s activities, including a bounce house. The event is free and open to the public.