Work on 1400 Market St. fast approaching | News, Sports, Jobs


picture by: Photo by Derek Redd

Work could soon begin on the 1400 block of Market Street if the Wheeling City Council votes to go ahead.

WHEELING — Members of the Wheeling City Council expect to hold a vote on redevelopment of the 1400 block of Market Street at their next meeting, which could see housing and commercial space brought downtown.

The town’s development committee discussed the matter before the council meeting on Tuesday evening. City Manager Robert Herron said the city selected Pittsburgh-based Desmone Architects last year to redevelop the 1400 block of Market Street, which they have worked hard to research and design for the past 10 months. .

The current plan in place is for commercial and retail spaces on the first floor, with outdoor seating at the back of the buildings where possible, and spaces on the second and third floors used for apartments and Airbnb spaces. The $7.5 million project will see the city encourage around $950,000 of work, assuming council approves the matter at the next council meeting.

Over the winter, Herron said, the city expects infrastructure work to begin, first stabilizing dilapidated buildings.

“We expect building stabilization to begin in December,” he said. “Currently the developer has stabilization – which is a key part of this project as the buildings have deteriorated significantly, particularly in the last 10 or so months.

“They currently have this to tender, and they plan to award a contract to begin stabilization this winter so that the buildings survive another winter and have the means to survive this project, which will be completed, according to their schedule, in April 2024.”

Mayor Glenn Elliott, who chairs the development committee, said he was happy that renovations were finally underway. Previous efforts with other companies to address the same issue fell apart during the pandemic, leading the city to move forward with Desmone.

“The plan was always to try to save them. We had a developer around 2018-2019 from Tucson who was about to move to help buildings, and then the pandemic happened, which pushed that developer back,” Elliott said. “Since then we have worked closely with Wheeling Heritage to market these properties and find a developer with the wherewithal to take on these projects.

On the advice side, the city awarded $500,000 in bailout law funding to King’s Daughters child care center, helping the facility complete a $2 million expansion project. of dollars.

Elliott said the city is aware that child care is something local families badly need and hopes the expansion will benefit residents as well as the business.

“When we had our first working session on the ARPA funds, the one area where there was consensus among the seven board members was the idea that child care was a need in the community” , Elliott said. “…Many people have told us that child care is a community need. King’s Daughters had a proposal to expand their capabilities and they approached us with that in mind. … He ticked a lot of boxes.

Elliott said that while details have not yet been finalized, he expects another daycare center to seek the city’s assistance with a similar project in the coming months.

In addition, the council voted unanimously to approve the creation of a municipal youth council. Children in grades 5-12 will be able to sit on the council, which will advise their adult counterparts on issues relating to their age group, including youth welfare, quality of life, parks and recreation, and other questions.

“It’s really important that we involve local children in local government as early as possible,” said council member Rosemary Ketchum. “None of us are getting any younger, and I wish I could support future generations of Wheeling City leaders so that we can stay fair, relevant and engaged.”

Elliott said he has already received several calls from parents whose children are interested in the counseling.

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