by BILL ARCHER
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
Jim Ferguson, Bluefield city manager, said that he gets tired of hearing people say that there isn’t anything going on in Bluefield.
“We have several things taking place right now that are new developments,” Ferguson said. “This is exciting news, and I want to share this excitement.”
He said that one of the more noticeable residential projects is the eight new homes that Community Action of South East (CASE) West Virginia is building on Highland Avenue.
“There are also four new patio homes in Crown Point, six new townhouses that DCI Shires is building on Horton Road, a new house on Carey Street valued at $325,000, a new modular home on Marellen Street, two more homes in the east Cumberland Road area and one in Canterbury Woods,” Ferguson said. “That’s a total of 23 new home sites in Bluefield.”
In addition to the growing number of residential developments, Ferguson said that commercial sites like the new $1 million dialysis center and K&M’s new $150,000 building both on Bluefield Avenue show growth in that area.
“Also, Bluefield Regional Medical Center has a $3 million renovation project planned for its CCU,” Ferguson said. He added that the $2.7 million project for the Bluefield Area Transit Center on John Nash Boulevard is scheduled for completion in October.
“Through June, we had total projects of about $6.4 million taking place,” Ferguson said. “Add the $2.7 million BAT building and the $3 million for the BRMC renovation project, and that’s a total of $12.1 million this year to date,” he said.
In terms of infrastructure, Ferguson said that Appalachian Power is in the midst of a $3 million electrical improvement project in the downtown. He said that Estep Tire and Auto Center Inc., has purchased the Appalachian Tire building on Princeton Avenue.
“Grant’s Supermarkets are moving their corporate headquarters to 1808 Jefferson St., and have contracted $134,000 in improvements to their new building,” Ferguson said. “Portabella’s will be opening, possibly next week.”
He added that the Bluefield Preservation Society and the H.I. Shott Jr. Foundation have started making improvements to the “Depot District” on Commerce Street. “The city has completed the Scott Street parking center, the Interpretive Plaza and has almost completed the sidewalk replacement from Wilson Street to Genoa Street.
“The Bluefield Auditorium floor has been replaced along with other improvements,” he said. “Several playgrounds have been upgraded around the city.”
Ferguson said that he finds all of those factors taken together as being very positive. “To borrow a quote: ‘The news of our demise has been greatly exaggerated,’” he said.
— Contact Bill Archer at email@example.com