By Jeff Toquinto on January 24, 2024
If good things truly come to those who wait, then resident of Bridgeport and the surrounding area are in for a treat with the opening of Menards.
Today, officials with the company publicly confirmed the opening date for next Tuesday, Jan. 30 for the massive retailer opening at Charles Pointe Crossing, which is the newest area of development at Charles Pointe just off Jerry Dove Drive.
“It’s certainly worth the wait,” said Bridgeport Mayor Andy Lang. “Anything of this magnitude always helps our citizens and the entire region.
“A development like this satisfies people that want that small hometown feeling Bridgeport provides, but also want all the amenities of a larger areas,” Lang continued. “With what we already have in place, it will provide a lot of great options.”
Menards is ready to be here.
“We really appreciate all the support we’ve received throughout the building process,” said Jeff Abbott, Menards Spokesperson. “We look forward to being a fixture in the Bridgeport community.”
The new store general manager echoed those comments.
“This new store is huge, very bright and welcoming,” says Ralf Hamerski, Bridgeport Menards General Manager. “We love being in Bridgeport and this incredible new store is a reflection of our commitment to this area. Our hard-working Team has been busy putting everything together and we can’t wait for everyone to stop by to see all the latest, greatest home improvement products we have at Menards. We are overwhelmed with the support we’ve received and will do our best each and every day.”
Thanks to COVID, the subsequent supply issues, and other factors, it has taken nearly seven years since the project was first publicly announced to being less than a week away from opening. It was in March of 2017 when the Bridgeport Development Authority approved an economic incentive grant for Menards.
“COVID certainly set the project back several years, but what most people don’t realize is that economic development, especially to this degree, doesn’t happen overnight,” said Lang, who did not assume the mayor’s role until July 1 of 2017. “Once everyone starts engaging in a project it takes years to do excavations, get permits, and everything necessary for a facility like Menards to come to fruition.”
Once the cloud of COVID cleared, things picked up and construction began on the 240,000 square foot retail center. The groundbreaking occurred on Oct. 18 of 2022, and things have been moving full throttle ever since thanks to the efforts of many people, a Charles Pointe official said.
“The Harrison County Commission has been a big supporter of the Charles Pointe development since its inception, and we appreciate that very much. In addition, we have worked closely with the citizen-led Charles Pointe Economic Opportunity Development District (EODD) Board of Directors,” said Jamie Corton of Genesis Partners, the developers of Charles Pointe. “The board has been instrumental in recognizing the potential for economic and community growth at Charles Pointe and has helped us to make it a reality.”
Lang pointed to Harrison County being a hub of activity on the retail front since Interstate 79 arrived. He said it has been beneficial to multiple surrounding counties as well. Corton echoed that.
“The new Menard’s super center at Charles Pointe Crossing will anchor an incredible retail center that will serve Harrison County and North Central West Virginia,” said Corton.
That retail center includes 67 “tabletop” acres to house retail and commercial establishments after four million cubic yards of earth were moved on the site. Menards will sit on a 17-acre site.
“Menard’s is a great family-owned company that wants to be in Harrison County West Virginia. We are proud to welcome them to Charles Pointe,” said Corton.
Menards is an American home improvement retail company headquartered in Eau Claire, Wisconsin that started in 1958 and currently operates 337 stores. However, if you think it is just a hardware type of store you may be under the wrong impression. The store offers items such as clothing and groceries among a host of others, including manufacturing.
This is the fourth Menards for West Virginia. The three others include the Westover location, which is also off of Interstate 79. Barboursville and Tridelphia are the other West Virginia locations.
“I’m sure Menards did a lot of background work relating to demographics to invest in them coming here. I appreciate them putting their resources in this community … and believe this is a place they can succeed,” said Lang.
They’ll succeed in a rather large building. During the groundbreaking ceremony in October of 2022, a Menards official said the main building will be slightly more than 200,000 square feet, while the warehouse – which will be a drive-through facility – will add another 40,000 square feet. Square footage of an on-site security building was not available.
Bridgeport Community Development Director Andrea Kerr said there were three building permits filed April 3 of 2023. The biggest is for the main building, which is $13.5 million, while the warehouse building will be $1.1 million. A security building has a $79,000 price tag.
Menards will have several activities to celebrate its newest location. Here are the special events scheduled:
- Public invited to attend a “Board Cutting Ceremony” – Friday, February 2 at 1 p.m. Bridgeport Mayor Andy Lang and state officials will speak. Governor Jim Justice has also been invited to speak.
- Grand Opening Celebration – Sunday, February 4th through Saturday, February 10.
- Legendary Chainsaw Carver John Gage creating woodcarvings – Sunday, February 4 through Wednesday, February 7 (9 a.m. until 5 p.m. daily)
- Menards Race Cars on Display (#12 Ryan Blaney/#88 Matt Crafton) – Thursday, February 8 through Saturday, February 10.
The store hours are Monday through Saturday from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.) and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.