Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

December 26, 2013

Mercer development officials wait for commitment from retail chain

BLUEFIELD — Development officials in Mercer County say they are still waiting to see if a new retail shopping chain will commit to a site in the area.

In the meantime, officials are working to develop a new Mercer County-specific “thank you” postcard that will be sent to all prospective businesses and industries that visit available sites in the county, according to Development Authority Director Janet Bailey.

The big box chain in question has looked at several sites in the region, including the old Kmart property in Princeton. Bailey said the company also has looked at sites in Bluefield, as well as in neighboring Virginia.

“It could be big box, retail or whatever you want to call it,” Bailey said of the unidentified company. “They have looked at other sites on the Bluefield side and the Virginia side. It’s just a waiting game to see if they will commit or not.”

The old Kmart site in Princeton is one of the few still-available properties located near the interchange of U.S. Route 460 and Interstate 77. It is considered a prime site for commercial growth.

Bailey said other prospects are looking at the area as well. She said a manufacturing firm toured the region last week. State officials were scheduled to attend that meeting.

“We have some other people that are looking,” she said. “We have a manufacturing firm we will be showing sites to. It will be more or less a tour of available sites.”

Bailey said Marie Blackwell, director of the Mercer County Visitors and Convention Bureau, is working on a new postcard featuring local attractions that will be mailed to all prospective businesses and industries that visit the area.

“It’s like a postcard,” Bailey said. “It says discover America’s coal story. We’ve asked that she (Blackwell) give us several of them, or a hundred or more of them, so we could send them to business prospects that have looked at the area.”

Bailey said the postcard features a number of local attractions, including a Bramwell mansion, the Ridge Runner in Bluefield and a fall foliage scene of the region.

– Contact Charles Owens at


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