By CHARLES OWENS
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
Motorists traveling U.S. Route 52 in Bluewell in recent days have noticed a new construction project between Kroger and Dish Network.
“It looks like it will be a real good-sized business,” Skip Crane, vice president of the Bluewell Improvement Association, said of the construction project ongoing at the Southview Plaza. “Bluewell would certainly welcome them, and any new business. That would be a tremendous asset to our town to have another business to offer what I call real jobs.”
Mercer County Development Authority Director Janet Bailey confirmed the construction project Thursday, but said a confidentiality agreement signed with the unidentified company prohibits her from releasing further details at this time.
“A new business will be coming to the Bluewell area, and we will announce it at a later date,” Bailey said. “We will welcome them to the county. I wish I could tell you their name. But we signed a confidentiality agreement.”
Bailey said she didn’t know how many jobs the company will create. “But it will create jobs, and all businesses are welcome,” she said.
Bailey said the Kroger at the Southview Plaza in Bluewell has seen a noticeable increase in business since the Kroger on Cumberland Road in Bluefield closed. Bailey said Kroger also is looking at adding a possible gas station to the parking lot area of its Bluewell store — similar to the gas station at the Kroger in Princeton.
“My assistant has talked to the manager there and their business has increased,” Bailey said. “We try to keep in touch with all of the businesses. There is a lot of new growth.”
Crane said Bluewell continues to grow, but there is room for additional growth — specifically new lodging facilities to support ATV traffic and the Hatfield-McCoy Trail system.
“We are just really looking for some lodging for our ATV people,” Crane said. “We would like to encourage somebody to get some lodging there. Bluewell has the property.”
Bailey said the development authority is seeing a lot of interest in potential lodging sites to accommodate the Hatfield-McCoy Trail.
“We have worked with quite a few people that are looking for investments — like building cabins and possibly a campground,” Bailey said. “There is a lot of interest. And there have been people from out-of-state that have contacted us regarding available space. We’ve put them in touch with the owners. There has been a lot of interest in the ATV trails and ATV campgrounds. And there is a lot of property available in the Bluewell area.”