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Wheeling: Developments and News

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Since this is ... real close to Ohio, it may be of interest to many.

 

Tunnel Sits Under Old Coal Mine

By FRED CONNORS

3/16/2007

Intelligencer [Wheeling]

 

WHEELING — An official of the West Virginia Division of Highways has confirmed the presence of an abandoned coal mine above the Wheeling Tunnel and said it could be a contributing factor to some of the problems associated with the tunnel renovation project.

 

“There are some voids up there, and the excessive amounts of water could be one reason patching concrete is not bonding to some areas of the tunnel,” WVDOH Construction Engineer Danny Sikora said Thursday.

 

Crews have been injecting an epoxy-based adhesive into cracks in the concrete base of the tunnel walls, but the water seeping into the tunnel continues to find new cracks.

 

FULL ARTICLE: http://www.news-register.net/news/articles.asp?articleID=17361

 

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Tunnel Work to Miss Deadline

By FRED CONNORS

3/13/2007

Intelligencer [Wheeling]

 

WHEELING — The Wheeling Tunnel renovation project is over budget and will not be completed on schedule.

 

A West Virginia Division of Highways official said the Wheeling Tunnel renovation project already is $400,000 over budget — and that figure could reach $1 million before the project is complete.

 

The general contractor, meanwhile, said the 111-day construction deadline is not going to be met.  “It is safe to say we are about $400,000 over budget, and we could easily get to $1 million over,” WVDOH District 6 Construction Engineer Danny Sikora said Monday.

 

FULL ARTICLE: http://www.news-register.net/news/articles.asp?articleID=17244

 

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W.Va. Courts Tile Makers

By FRED CONNORS

3/12/2007

Intelligencer [Wheeling]

 

WHEELING — An article last week in the Wheeling newspapers about German-made tile being used to reline the Wheeling Tunnel has prompted the West Virginia Development Office to investigate the possibility of bringing an industrial grade tile manufacturer into the state.

 

Steve Spence, executive director of WVDO and director of the agency’s International Division, said, “At this point it is in the idea stage and may go nowhere, but anytime we see news reports that may have development opportunities, we take a look at it.”

 

The article reported the 13,000 square feet of replacement tile that will be used to reline the tunnel is coming from Germany, apparently because no American manufacturer can produce the product within a necessary time frame.  Bob Langen, area engineer for the West Virginia Division of Highways, District 6, said, ‘‘The German manufacturer is the only one that could provide the type of tile we need within the time we need it.’’

 

FULL ARTICLE: http://www.news-register.net/news/articles.asp?articleID=17230

 

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Westbound Tube Work Set for ’08

By FRED CONNORS

3/12/2007

Intelligencer [Wheeling]

 

WHEELING — When renovation work on the eastbound tube of the Wheeling Tunnel is completed later this spring construction workers will remove traffic barriers and equipment from the site, but they will not set up shop in the westbound tube until January.

 

According to the West Virginia Division of Highways job proposal, the westbound project will not start until after the 2007-08 Wheeling Festival of Lights ends.

 

The proposal says “2008 construction shall begin no sooner than three days after the Festival of Lights ends and no later than 10 days after it ends.”  Based on that information, the westbound project will begin between Jan. 9 and Jan. 16, 2008.

 

FULL ARTICLE: http://www.news-register.net/news/articles.asp?articleID=17231

 

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Progress: Downtown (Other articles are on the site.)

 

Downtown Drag: Officials Say Downtown Renewal A Slow Process (w/ photo goodness)

By: SHELLEY HANSON - Staff Writer

 

The decline of downtown Wheeling didn’t happen overnight — and neither will its resurgence.

 

That, at least, is what many business and government leaders have said over the years. The process to revitalize Wheeling’s downtown business district, they say, is and will be a bit painful, but people should try to be positive.

 

...

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Progress: Community (Other articles are on the site.)

 

Seitz: People Need Information to Make Decision About Metro Governments (w/ photo goodness)

By: SHELLEY HANSON - Staff Writer

 

The Rev. Mark Seitz can envision a day when Wheeling and Ohio County have one unified government that works in the best interests of all residents.

 

Seitz and his organization, the Hopeful City, are proponents of a metro government in the local area. The organization believes Wheeling and Ohio County governments could easily be merged, providing for one vision for the area.

 

...

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Progress: Community (Other articles are on the site.)

 

Valley Residents Enjoy Quality of Life (w/ photo goodness)

By: GABE WELLS

 

There are several factors that determine the quality of life in a particular area, and some experts believe those key elements of life are widely available here in the Ohio Valley.

 

Last year we asked what it would take for the area’s quality of life to improve. Experts at West Virginia University said for the area to improve, it needed to move away from a service economy; improve education, including life-long learning opportunities; and increase the chance for participation in social and cultural activities.

 

...

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Expand that tunnel!


"You don't just walk into a bar and mix it up by calling a girl fat" - buildingcincinnati speaking about new forumers

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I didn't realize Ohio annexed Wheeling, nice! ;)

 

West Virginia is Ohio's other national park.


"You don't just walk into a bar and mix it up by calling a girl fat" - buildingcincinnati speaking about new forumers

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Area Population Continues to Decline

 

No surprise here --

1. In 1986, Weirton Steel was the state's largest private employer at 12,000 local workers.

1a. In 2006, Weirton Steel is now Mittal Steel USA and employs 1,100.

2. Wal-Mart is now the state's largest private employer at 12,000 statewide.

3. The Wheeling MSA (Ohio and Marshall counties in WVa and Belmont in OH) had 208,918 in 1940. It has lost 61,589 since then.

3a. The Weirton-Steubenville MSA (Hancock and Brooke counties in WVa and Jefferson in OH) had 167,756 in 1960. It has lost 42,588 since then.

3b. Combined, they have lost 76,168 since 1980.

4. The median age in the Wheeling MSA was 40.7 (in 2000); 41.5 in the Weirton-Steubenville MSA. These are higher than the 35.3 national average.

 

Article information: "Area Population Continues to Decline, By CASEY JUNKINS, Wheeling News-Register, 4/22/2007"

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There have really been some impressive examples in Wheeling over the past few years that are mentioned in the article.

 

Wheeling to host conference on saving historic buildings

By CASEY TOMINACK

 

WHEELING — When a historic structure is lost, so are its memories, as well as any hope of preserving past moments that occurred there. However, there is an organization that takes pride in restoring and maintaining the state’s historic buildings — The Preservation Alliance of West Virginia.

 

The alliance is scheduled to host a statewide historical preservation conference in Wheeling from Thursday through Saturday, May 17-19. Registration materials are available by calling (304) 345-6005.

 

...

 

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Tunnel Work Halted for Bonding Test

 

Notes --

1. Work has been halted on the Wheeling Tunnel while a new bonding concrete is being tested on the walls. The tests will reveal if the new material is suitable for the task. The bond must cure for seven days before tests are conducted.

2. Engineers from WVDOH, Velotta Company, and Concrete Restoration Specialists came to the site Monday (May 21) as the new material was sprayed on test areas on the east end of the eastbound tube.

3. If it cures properly, the new Silica Fume modified concrete will replace a latex product that was used previously on the tunnel. The latex product failed to bond properly and caused a major delay in the tunnel renovation project. Silica Fume is an additive that improves the properties of concrete, including compression and bonding strength and durability. The latex material can fail if water intrudes onto the surface.

 

Article information: "Tunnel Work Halted for Bonding Test, By FRED CONNORS, Wheeling News-Register, 5/22/2007"

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I couldn't think of a better place for it.

 

 

Downtown Offers Wheeling Great Potential for Growth

By JOSELYN KING Staff Writer

 

Many people remember downtown Wheeling as a thriving, booming place — a place where they and thousands of others went each day to shop, eat and be entertained.  Now, however, only a handful of shops remain downtown, and the area’s main entertainment venue — the Capitol Music Hall — has been shuttered by LiveNation for fire code violations.  In fact, most of the city’s commerce now takes place outside of downtown in neighborhoods such as Warwood, Elm Grove and Woodsdale, which led Peggy Porter of St. Clairsville to ask the question, “Are areas outside of downtowns thriving?  Why is all the focus on downtown, particularly in Wheeling?”

 

Read more at http://www.theintelligencer.net/page/content.detail/id/506147.html?nav=5041

 

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TIF Plan Could Mean Parking Lot

By CASEY JUNKINS

POSTED: March 7, 2008

 

506724_1.jpg

Wheeling Councilman Barry Crow wants to see the 1100 block of Main and Market streets cleared of these dilapidated buildings to make room for future development.

 

WHEELING — Councilman Barry Crow is ready to use $2.5 million of the city’s $8 million tax increment financing plan to remove slum and blight in the 1100 block of Main and Market streets — even if it means creating another municipal parking lot.  City officials have touted their plan as one that will make way for green space and future downtown development. No specific plan has been announced, but it appears it already may be changing — a parking lot had not previously been cited as a potential use for the space.

 

Read more at

http://www.theintelligencer.net/page/content.detail/id/506724.html?nav=515

 

 

This sucks :-(. I may however, go to the meeting they are having on this issue and see how it goes.

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Herron: TIF Plan Will Bring 240 Jobs

 

WHEELING — City Manager Robert Herron believes Wheeling’s $8 million tax increment financing plan will help create at least 240 permanent, full-time jobs in the downtown — 150 of which will pay at least $30,000 per year.  Although the master downtown development plan from Pittsburgh-based consulting firm EDP has not yet been revealed, Herron said the employment figures are based on reasonable assumptions that the blighted area in the 1100 block of Main and Market streets will be redeveloped in the future.

 

Read more at

http://www.theintelligencer.net/page/content.detail/id/506888.html?nav=515

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Tighe Property Auctioned

By BETHANY A. ROMANEK Staff Writer

 

WHEELING — Marked condemned, dangerous and unsafe by the city of Wheeling, the former home of Larry Tighe at 2315 Chapline St. was auctioned to a Virginia couple Saturday.  The bidding began at 1 p.m. with a small crowd standing near the front porch of the historic home.

 

The lone bidder — William Armstrong of Manassas, Va. — had mailed a $100 refundable check to local officials before the auction in order to be eligible to bid. On Saturday, he placed a bid of $10,000 for the property.  But attorney Gary Sacco, who was appointed by the court as a special commissioner for the sale of the property and acted as auctioneer, said he could not accept that amount, as the property had been appraised at $15,000. Without hesitation, Armstrong bid $15,000.

 

Read more at http://www.theintelligencer.net/page/content.detail/id/508816.html?nav=515

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More TIF Info Wanted

By CASEY JUNKINS

http://www.theintelligencer.net/page/content.detail/id/508732.html?nav=515

 

WHEELING — “More information required” was not the message City Manager Robert Herron hoped to receive from the West Virginia Development Office concerning the city’s $8 million Tax Increment Financing application.  But that is the memo Herron got from state officials last week regarding the plan that would provide $2.5 million for upgrades to the currently closed Capitol Music Hall and $2.5 million to remove slum and blight in the 1100 block of Main and Market streets.  As such, current Wheeling leaders will have to wait to see when — or if — they will be making any big announcements concerning their proposed projects.

 

^ Other than the renovation of the Capital, I'm not a fan of the TIF plan. I'd much rather the buildings be saved!

 

 


 

Manchin Sending $1M To Independence Hall

Also hints at energy business setting up locally

By JOSELYN KING

POSTED: April 18, 2008

 

http://www.theintelligencer.net/page/content.detail/id/508430.html?nav=515

 

WHEELING — Visiting local counties Thursday, West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin said he is excited for the future of the Northern Panhandle and hinted that an unnamed international energy business could be locating there.  He also said he is directing $1 million from the state’s budget for renovations to West Virginia Independence Hall, located on Market Street, with hopes that Wheeling and Ohio County officials additionally will contribute.

 

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Thanks for keeping us updated on this great city!

 

Any news on the progress at the Highlands?

 

Glad to see it is appreciated. I might as well post an update. The Highlands got an Old Navy, and they're still trying to get the amusement park started. I don't go there very often, I still prefer St. Clairsville and the mall.

 

http://www.theintelligencer.net/page/content.detail/id/509300.html

 

Newest Plan for Downtown Unveiled: Wheeling 2020

Will music theme be Pied Piper for new businesses?

By CASEY JUNKINS

 

WHEELING — “Music Row,” “Lower Main,” “Riverside” and “Creekside” could become familiar areas of Wheeling in the future. “Melody Pipes,” “Blues Corner” and brick street surfaces also are elements of the Wheeling 2020 Plan officials revealed Friday following months of anticipation.  “This is a concept plan that shows what downtown Wheeling could look like by the year 2020,” City Manager Robert Herron said.  The city, along with the Wheeling Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Regional Economic Development Partnership and the Wheeling National Heritage Area Corp., paid $70,000, or $17,500 per agency, for the downtown development plan by Pittsburgh-based EPD.  It was known as the Downtown Conceptual Plan prior to its unveiling.

 

And a link to the plan: http://www.theintelligencer.net/pdf/news/509300_1.pdf

 

I'm not sure what to think of it. It seems very gimmicky. A better solution IMO would be to simply renovate the aging buildings in downtown, and doing whatever is possible to bring in mixed-use development. I love downtown Wheeling the way it is, and would like to see it remain so...except more vibrant. I am, however, looking forward to seeing the Symphony at the Capitol. And indoor football is coming back. Woo!

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More at http://theintelligencer.net/page/content.detail/id/510643.html

 

City Has Plan for Plaza

By CASEY JUNKINS

 

Installing new sidewalks with metered parking, new brick patios and a new fountain are some of the improvements city officials are looking to make to the Market Street Plaza.  Richard Hickman, owner of Hickman’s Gifts and More in the plaza, appreciates the plans but believes the city needs to make sure it has its priorities in order.  The plaza — which is officially classified as a municipal park under the auspices of the Wheeling Park Commission — runs along the west side of Market Street between 10th and 11th streets in downtown Wheeling.

 

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Big news at WJU! :-D

 

 

WJU To Rent The Mount

University wants to use space at closed neighbor

By BETHANY ROMANEK

 

WHEELING - In what the Rev. Julio Giulietti termed a glorious, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for two groups of people, officials from Wheeling Jesuit University and the Visitation Sisters at Mount de Chantal are in talks regarding the use of the Mount property by the university.  With the historic Mount de Chantal building as a backdrop, Giulietti and Sister Joanne Gonter, superior of the Visitation Sisters at Mount de Chantal, made an announcement during a news conference Thursday.  Both parties spoke about what will happen to the longtime girls school since it closed its doors in May.

 

Read more at

http://www.theintelligencer.net/page/content.detail/id/512124.html

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Historic Wheeling has such incredible urban fabric and architecture... I just feel that it isn't appreciated like it should be.  How is the Centre Market doing? 

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There's a lot of vacancies but the shops and restaurants that are there do very well. It's nigh impossible to find a parking space.

 

btw can somebody move this thread to the non-Ohio board? :)

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1100 Block Is The Target

Council discusses buying downtown Wheeling structures

 

WHEELING - The former G.C. Murphy building and former Rite Aid building are among structures in the 1100 block of Main and Market streets that City Council may buy with $2.5 million worth of Tax Increment Financing.  Following an executive session at the Tuesday council meeting, members unanimously approved a motion directing City Manager Robert Herron to "present ... the appropriate ordinances to undertake the acquisition and financing of certain buildings/ properties in the 1100 block of Main and Market streets ..."

 

The previous council wanted to purchase and demolish the former Feet First building that continues to Dr. Manny Velez's dental office and the River City Dance Works building, in addition to the former G.C. Murphy building and former Rite Aid building.  City officials already have purchased the former Downtown Wheeling Antiques building with $20,000 in Community Development Block Grant money.

 

Read more at http://www.theintelligencer.net/page/content.detail/id/512578.html?nav=515

 

 

One of the buildings in question is, unless the facade is hiding something, not that historical. However, at least one of the buildings on this block pre-dates West Virginian statehood. Although it's only a small part of Wheeling's great architcture, I really wish this wasn't an option.

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Picking and Choosing 1100 Block Properties

By CASEY JUNKINS

 

WHEELING - The former Rite Aid building, the former G. C. Murphy building and the River City Dance Works buildings are the primary targets in the 1100 block of Main and Market streets.  But Dr. Manny Velez said City Manager Robert Herron has told him the city will not buy Velez's dental office and Feet First building as part of the city's $2.5 million Tax Increment Financing plan.  And the owners of Vocelli Pizza and Howard's Diamond Center said they have no plans to sell their buildings to the city.

 

Herron was unavailable for comment Wednesday regarding the status of the 1100 block, but Mayor Andy McKenzie said the city has not ruled out anything. "We are going to look at all of our options for the 1100 block," he said.

 

Read more at http://www.theintelligencer.net/page/content.detail/id/512625.html?nav=515

 

512625_1.jpg

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Centre Market: Still One of a Kind

Small businesses find a special home in Wheeling

By JASON PYLES

 

WHEELING - The Centre Market shopping district in Center Wheeling is precariously situated about 10 miles east of the Ohio Valley Mall and approximately 10 miles west of The Highlands.  Yet several private businesses remain at Centre Market, despite the shadow of the surrounding big-box superstores.  "I think people get tired of finding the same thing in every store," said Paula Calvert, Centre Market manager. "It's an experience to walk around down here; it's not a mall - and that's a positive thing."

 

More at http://www.theintelligencer.net/page/content.detail/id/513109.html?nav=508

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CDBG Projects Up for Vote

By CASEY JUNKINS

 

WHEELING - The city may spend $58,000 in federal Community Development Block Grant money to fund Wheeling Island police patrols - if council members adopt the ordinance at their Tuesday meeting.  Council will enter an agreement with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to receive $1,460,209 in CDBG money before deciding how the money will be spent.

http://theintelligencer.net/page/content.detail/id/513758.html?nav=515

 

 

Council to Finalize Property Purchases and Financing

By CASEY JUNKINS

 

WHEELING - With its plan to use $647,940 in Tax Increment Financing to buy three 1100 block buildings up for a vote at its Tuesday meeting, City Council is also looking to issue $750,000 in TIF bonds to fund the project.  Council will adopt an ordinance to use the TIF money to purchase the former Rite Aid building, the former G.C. Murphy building and the River City Dance Works building in the 1100 block of Main and Market streets.

 

http://theintelligencer.net/page/content.detail/id/513759.html?nav=515

 

On another note, I noticed a couple new businesses opened up in Centre Wheeling - a cafe and another used bookstore. A couple buildings are newly renovated, and it looks like work is starting on the big green building next to the Capitol. :-)

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It's been a while.

 

Former Bill’s Hamburger Building Gets A Facelift

By SHELLEY HANSON

WHEELING - Work to renovate the front and north side facades of the old Bill's Hamburger building in downtown Wheeling is under way.  Owned by Wheeling lawyer C.J. Kaiser, the dark green-colored structure is located at 1001 Main St. between the Suspension Bridge and Capitol Music Hall.  Kaiser purchased the building because his grandfather, William J. Kaiser, operated a grocery store there from 1910-38.

 

Passersby may have noticed the erection of scaffolding this week around the building. Kaiser contracted Walters Construction of Wheeling to remove the old paint and repair the mortar between the 150-year-old bricks. The work on the front and north sides of the building should reveal a dark red brick.

 

 

http://theintelligencer.net/page/content.detail/id/513662.html

 

 

And some potentially bad...

 

WNHAC: Capitol Music Hall Not High Priority

By CASEY JUNKINS Staff Writer

 

WHEELING - In May, the Wheeling National Heritage Area Corp. hired a Washington, D.C. company to study market viability of the Capitol Music Hall that was closed by owner Live Nation in May 2007.  But more than four months later, WNHAC Executive Director Hydie Friend has yet to reveal any results of the study performed by Economics Research Associates that she said would take about six weeks to complete.

 

"I have not heard anything back from the company ... I have not received any kind of feedback from them about it," she said last week.  Friend previously said that a group of "interested parties" including WNHAC, the Regional Economic Development Partnership, the Wheeling Convention and Visitors Bureau and the city of Wheeling have been working to see how they can reopen the 1928 theater that Live Nation closed after city firefighters discovered 23 fire code violations at the facility.

 

http://theintelligencer.net/page/content.detail/id/514748.html

 

Wheeling Park High School is about to start on a multi-million dollar performing arts center. It will be hard to sell the Capitol in this environment. The new mayor still says he wants to get it done. I hope he does...

 

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Wheeling moving to set fees for vacant buildings

Charleston Daily Mail, October 22, 2008

 

WHEELING, W.Va. -- Wheeling City Council is flexing its new home rule muscle by planning to go after property owners with vacant buildings.  Addressing vacant and dilapidate structures is one of several areas Wheeling said it would pursue if the city was selected for the state's five-year home rule experiment.  A council committee agreed Monday that vacant property owners should be charged a fee of between $200 and $1,600 depending on how many years the structure is vacant.  After reaching $1,600, property owners would face esculating fees of $300 a year if the property remained vacant.  "One goal of this program is to prevent vacant buildigns from becoming diliapidated buildings,'' said City Manager Robet Herron. "Even a well-intentioned person could let their property fall into disrepair.''

 

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State Has ‘Plan’ for Tunnel

By Fred Connors, The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register, October 5, 2008

 

WHEELING - Work on the Wheeling Tunnel's eastbound tube is going much more smoothly this year than last - it's even scheduled to open on time - because state officials said they "have a plan" this time around.

 

West Virginia Division of Highways spokesman Brent Walker and tunnel project engineer Dustin Neely said the eastbound tube is on schedule for its planned Nov. 1 opening - and lessons learned from the latest phase of the project will be applied to next year's expected renovation of the westbound tube.

 

Work on the eastbound tube began in January 2007 and was scheduled to take 111 days.  However, repeated problems with patching material failing to adhere to tunnel walls ran the project into mid-November 2007 when state officials suspended the work and reopened the tube to traffic.

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