Plans move along for South Charleston retail development

Every few weeks, Nancy Craig makes the trip from Eleanor to shop in South Charleston.

“It’s a good place to come. It’s a safe place to be,” said Craig.

In just a few short years, Craig and other shoppers will have even more options to choose from, as plans for a brand-new retail development continue to take shape.

“There’s going to be approximately $300 million spent in our city in the next several years,” said Mayor Frank Mullens. “It’s an exciting time for us. It’s an exciting time for the whole valley. We have more interest than we have space – and that’s a good problem to have.”

“That makes me excited because I don’t like to go to the malls all the time. I like somewhere I can drive into,” said Craig.

It may not look like much now, but the possibilities are endless for this piece of property. It could be an outlet mall, free-standing retailers, maybe a combination of both. Either way, the city is keeping its options open.

“We do have some folks who are committed. I’m not ready to release names just yet,” said Mullens, “but it won’t be made up of a lot of places that we already have in West Virginia. We plan to bring in some things that people go to when they’re out of state – that they’d like to see here in our backyard. Well, they’re coming to our backyard.”

Those big box retailers and restaurants will be located in a newly-created TIF district, which just passed its first reading. Later on, even more dollars will be generated from a sales tax TIF. Another financial booster of this development – the Jefferson Road project.

“About 800,000 cubic yards of fill will come out of that project that we can use to fill this pond and do the remediation process to get it ready to build on,” said Mullens.

City council will have its final legislation to create that property tax TIF at its next meeting.

The city is also collaborating with the DNR on plans for a riverfront park.

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