Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

September 10, 2013

Mini boom

Signs of encouragement in Bluefield

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

— — A recent increase in commercial and residential activity in the city of Bluefield should be viewed as an encouraging sign for the future.

New building permits and projects in the city have topped $6.4 million in recent months — a fact that can be easily overlooked when considering the many continued challenges facing Nature’s Air-Conditioned City. But this quiet mini boom shouldn’t be ignored, as correctly noted by City Manager Jim Ferguson.

New projects in the city topped $6.4 million in June. But when you add the ongoing $2.7 million Bluefield Area Transit expansion project and the new $3 million renovation project at Bluefield Regional Medical Center into the mix, the new projects top $12.1 million this year to date. And that’s a welcomed sign of growth.

Among the current developments in Bluefield noted by Ferguson last week:

• Eight new homes have been constructed along Highland Avenue as part of an ongoing project by Community Action of Southeastern West Virginia.

• In addition to the Highland Avenue project, 23 additional new homes are being constructed across the city, including four new patio homes in Crown Point and six new townhouses that DCI Shires is building on Horton Road.

• A new $1 million dialysis center is being developed along Bluefield Avenue at the old T&T Pontiac site.

• K&M has developed a new $150,000 building on Bluefield Avenue.

• Estep Tire and Auto Center Inc, has purchased the vacant Appalachian Tire building on Princeton Avenue.

• Grant’s Supermarket is moving their corporate headquarters to 1808 Jefferson Street, and will be making $134,000 in improvements to their new building.

• Portabella’s, a new restaurant in downtown Bluefield located adjacent to the Landmark Antique Mall, is now hiring and will be opening soon.

• Appalachian Power is in the middle of a $3 million, multi-year underground electrical improvement project in the downtown.

• The Bluefield Preservation Society and the H.I. Shott Jr. Foundation have started making improvements to the proposed “Depot District” on Commerce Street.

All of the above projects are welcomed and should enhance the city. It’s good to see that more than $6 million in new work is being invested in Bluefield. We take this as a positive sign, and hope to see additional projects, expansions and new developments in the months ahead.

The ongoing work also provides a good starting point for additional growth and expansion for the five newly elected members of the Bluefield Board of Directors. All progress in the city — whether big or small — is certainly welcomed.