Comments Off on MHIRJ Aviation Inc. announces hiring plan for 300 available positions at Bridgeport location
BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. – MHIRJ Aviation Inc. (MHIRJ) announced that it will be launching a recruitment campaign at both its Bridgeport, West Virginia, and Tucson, Arizona Service Centers hiring up to 300 Aircraft Technicians in Structures, Maintenance, and Avionics.
“To cater to the growing demand in aftermarket services, we are currently expanding our service centers manpower to continue to offer world-class services to the national and international markets,” said Stephen McCoy, Head of Commercial Aircraft Service Centers. “We want to benefit from the expertise that is available to continue driving growth and investing in the future. We value our diversified workforce, who are talented, dedicated, and motivated, and are a key asset in keeping the fleets flying. Therefore, we provide them with an environment that fosters and celebrates their growth.”
The release explained that MHIRJ offers the stability of a large corporation with flexible and transparent leadership, continual learning opportunities, and a healthy work-life balance with the intent to provide each employee with a sustainable career.
Comments Off on Coming Soon: The Bridge, a 156,000 SF recreational facility in Bridgeport, WV
The Bridge is the newest destination for all things sports, recreation, and wellness.
With 156,000 square feet of courts, turf, aquatics, fitness, and more, The Bridge is the most comprehensive venue in West Virginia and beyond. When you’re competing at The Bridge, you’re playing at the region’s top destination for tournaments, championships, and competitions. The Bridge Sports Complex has something for everyone. From exceptional sports programming to exciting family entertainment, this state-of-the-art facility is the premier sports and recreation destination for North Central West Virginia.
Comments Off on Massive Project Moving Forward in Bridgeport Could See Annual Economic Impact of More than $1 Billion
Three years ago, Harrison County Commissioners and Benedum Airport Authority members Ron Watson and David Hinkle got with fellow Authority member and Bridgeport Mayor Andy Lang to form a special projects committee at the North Central West Virginia Airport.
The committee expanded to include NCWV Airport Director Rick Rock, Deputy Director Shawn Long, Mid-Atlantic Aerospace Complex Director Tracy Miller, and Amy Wilson of the Harrison County Economic Development Corporation. The group, Lang said recently, meets about every week.
“This coming October it will be three years,” Lang told members of the Bridgeport Development Authority last week.
Unlike many committees, this committee is not only making noise, but it is making serious financial noise with the first leg of a project that has just got started. Lang said that entire buildout of the much-discussed airport terminal project, which involves much more than just a new airport terminal building, is being looked at as having a potential 10-figure impact.
“We’re at $1.2 billion right now of economic impact,” said Lang on the status of the airport’s aerospace impact now. “The whole goal … it doubles what’s already on the airport. That’s based on square footage.”
The estimate of having an additional $1 billion-plus impact does not include other property that could be acquired and developed, which will be discussed below. It does include land many that follow the airport know has been targeted for development and that this committee has zeroed in on.
“We wanted to figure out a way to utilize the property lays between (State Route) 131 and (State Route) 279 and Route 50 back to Bridgeport,” said Lang on the property that is mainly owned by the airport and within the city limits.
The driving factor is that formerly Bombardiere, now Mitsubishi, is looking to expand their massive operations at the airport. To provide them space for future growth, the existing terminal building would need to be moved, which would also allow for other issues with the current terminal to be eliminated. That led to the committee looking at how the land referenced above could be utilized.
“(Moving the terminal) has nothing to do with the building, it has more to do with tarmac space, security and so many things we’ve learned over the last few years,” said Lang, who said parking is also a problem. “… There are a whole lot of issues that make it best to get that terminal out of there.”
That led them back to something that had been started on and never finished. The moving of a “mountain,” said Lang, on property that abuts Route 279. The idea has long been to remove the mountain, use fill to bring up lower elevations, and create flat land for development.
“(The flat land made accessible to the runway) is what brings value to our area,” said Lang.
The first part of that efforts, with a near $15 million price tag, is expected to get started before the end of the year. The earthmoving is funded through a $10 million grant awarded to the airport by Gov. Jim Justice and the remainder is being covered by the airport and the county commissions of Harrison and Marion Counties, the owners of the airport.
Once finished, Lang said there should be nearly 100 flat and contiguous acres. The land will be connected to the runway.
“The terminal building will take up about 18 of those acres and we’ll be left with about 80 acres that can be developed, hopefully for aerospace,” said Lang.
The $15 million only covers the first phase. Two additional phases will take place will include the concrete work needed for the airport aprons, the lighting and other airport essentials that the Airport Authority is hopeful will receive FAA funding.
The final phase is the construction of the terminal. The parking area, which along with the terminal will be designed for expansion, will also be part of the final phase.
Throughout the process, all infrastructure such as water and sewage will be done to allow the airport to go easily into surrounding properties. If everything goes as planned, private property surrounding the airport could be purchased as those owners have indicated they are willing to sell their property. And other large pieces of property are owned by the Harrison County Commission, including the former Thrasher farm.
There is no set timetable for the completion of the terminal, but the process is well under way. The Development Authority was impressed with Lang’s presentation.
“They’ve done a great job up there to aggressively keep moving forward,” said John Stogran, the president of the Development Authority.
Comments Off on Bridgeport, WV’s, White Oaks Continues Serving as Place of Business and Continued Growth
Bridgeport’s White Oaks development has seen much growth since its beginnings in 2008, with even more progress planned for the future this year. Austin Thrasher, White Oaks project manager, said the three-phase development project began right at the beginning of a recession. “It was almost a terrible time to start the development. We had a few years of slow (progression) but things started to grow and increase. I’d say the past five years has been the best growth we’ve had,” he said.
Thrasher said the thought behind the development was to create a place to have support services for the then-new United Hospital Center, the expanding FBI and oil and gas services. From that it has grown into much more, he said. The White Oaks planned business community comprises 470 acres that are home to offices, FBI support services, medical support services, oil and gas businesses, national retailers, restaurants and vital amenities.
Located at the intersection of Interstate 79 and W.Va. Route 279, the busy corridor sees an estimated average of 48,500 vehicles per day. It is adjacent to the $350 million United Hospital Center, at the doorstep of the FBI’s CJIS Division and the Biometric Center of Excellence. White Oaks is also located in the heart of Marcellus Shale play.
Thrasher said White Oaks is divided into three separate phases, with work continuing to progress in all three. Within the last year, some of the development’s newest additions include the Clear Mountain Bank, Minard’s Spaghetti Inn Express and Dyer Group. This time last year, Thrasher said construction was still ongoing for the Clear Mountain Bank as well as the Dyer Group facility. Minard’s now occupies the area in Retail Village Building 1 that formally housed Hermosilla’s Deli.
Nick Dyer, insurance producer and director of bonding, said the move from their Clarksburg location to the White Oaks Development was seamless. “It’s been a fantastic transition for us. Everything has gone very smoothly and all of our neighbors here at the White Oaks development have been very gracious as well as welcoming us as new members of the community here,” he said.
The Dyer Group, previously located in Clarksburg, is one of Harrison County’s oldest businesses was originally founded as P.M. Long and Son Inc. The company has been in business since 1896 and is a sixth-generation, family-owned operation. Being at the new location, Dyer said, can aid in fostering future growth. “I think the location and accessibility to the interstate makes this a great location for our clientele and our staff as we transition into growing our agency,” he said. Dyer expressed the development was an asset to the entire region of North Central West Virginia and is happy “we can be a small part of it.”
Minard’s Spaghetti Inn, a popular Harrison County staple for 83 years, held its grand opening in November, and owner Joe Minard expressed how convenient it was for customers in Bridgeport because they would no longer have to wade through lengthy traffic to visit the Clarksburg location. General Manager Heather Gillespie said the restaurant has a primary convenience factor, providing meals in a to-go container whether customers eat in or take out, making it more convenient for those on a lunch break or in a hurry.
After a soft opening two weeks ago, the new restaurant is starting to see some of its Bridgeport patrons more often than previously, Gillespie said. Some of its menu items include a hot Italian sub sandwich that is normally only available at the Clarksburg restaurant on special as well as soups like minestrone, Italian wedding soup, cheddar broccoli, potato, lobster bisque, pasta fagioli, and, starting next week, it also will sell vegetable beef soup and chili.
Thrasher said there is work continuing throughout the year. There is one bay that remains vacant in the retail section of the development and a national fast food chain, which Thrasher did not name at this time, will find a new home in the lot in front of the Huntington Bank, with construction most likely beginning this year. Though nothing is solidified, Thrasher said there is potential for residential development behind the Harmony Assisted Living Facility, which also opened its doors this year.
In addition, The Thrasher Group built a 4.5-acre pad behind the Freedom Kia dealership located right off of the Saltwell Exit and he said plans are in the works to utilize it for future developments. “If things work out, hopefully we will see some stuff come up before too long,” he said. Thrasher said the impact the development has in the region remains large with other surrounding factors in the area that help facilitate its growth.
“You kind of look for a nice place when you invest in a big building like this. If you’re (The Thrasher Group) and you are going to pay for a building of this size, you’re going to put it in a nice place that’s going to hold its value so we allow bigger companies like that to have place right here where people can come to work. I think it’s got a lot of value there,” Thrasher said.
The hotels, restaurants and other aspects of the development are also essential, he said. “It’s also a really nice benefit having the airport over there with their runway and having the ability to have things land there, seeing them expand and opening up options. I think it really is going to open us up to a bigger area and close things down in terms of travel for us,” he said.
Bridgeport Community Development Director Andrea Kerr said White Oaks from the very beginning has been aggressive and successful in developing their properties, having “done a tremendous job.” “We are excited to hear about the possibility of future development and hope to continue our working relationship to grow not only Bridgeport but North Central West Virginia,” he said.
Comments Off on Demolition of Towne House Motel Ahead of Schedule as Long-Standing Building Soon to be Part of Past
It stood in Bridgeport for decades. As of Thursday, there wasn’t much left standing of the once thriving Towne House East Motel off of Main Street. Workers with Lyons Excavating have been leveling the structure for some time now. The company is doing $196,000 worth of demolition work that includes items done before the building started coming down and items to be addressed once it’s completely down.
“We are actually ahead of schedule, which is great news,” said Bridgeport Community Development Director Andrea Kerr. “All the asbestos has been abated and properly disposed of and as of (Wednesday) the building is just about down.” That doesn’t mean the work is finished. The contract signed with Lyons has a completion date of Oct. 31, said Kerr. While that doesn’t mean they have to be on site until that date, it does mean there are other items that will be addressed.
“Once everything is done, the area will need to be seeded and mulched,” said Kerr. “There’s other things that will also be taken care of, but it’s important the property looks nice until a decision is made for what will be put in place there.” The building on Main Street (U.S. Route 50) is near Twin Oaks. The lot provides two things that are a commodity hard to find along the corridor – road frontage and deep property in the rear.
The entire parcel covers 2.734 acres and was purchased for $975,000. There has been discussion of putting a new city fire station, a police station or a combined version – or perhaps one and not the other – on the parcel. Nothing, however, is close to definitive. “I’m kind of excited to see the decision Council makes for the property,” Kerr said. “It’s a great piece to have ownership of and provides the city with a lot of options and opportunities.”
Now, the area still has debris as a result of the construction. Remnants of the motel were visible as a scoop of material being pulled away had an old mattress cover hanging from it – a visible sign of the long-standing business that had faded into the past.
Comments Off on Bridgeport, WV Economic Development 2019 – VIDEO
Bridgeport has become a leader in economic development in West Virginia. Bridgeport is featured in this video by the West Virginia Municipal League as they tell the story of economic development around the state. Click on the image below to watch the full video.
Comments Off on White Oaks Development Continues Expansion
The White Oaks development in Bridgeport, located just off the Jerry Drove Exit on Interstate 79, continues to grow and expand as more offices, retail locations and other businesses open their doors. The 472-acre business park has seen a flurry of construction activity over the past year, and developers plan to soon announce details of new projects planned there, said Austin Thrasher, White Oaks project manager. “Here pretty soon I think we’re going to have an announcement for some more earthworks construction going on for White Oaks that will develop some more pad space,” he said. “I would expect that we’ll probably be pulling the trigger within the next month and making that announcement.”
The most recent additions to White Oaks include a 3,300-square-foot Clear Mountain Bank location and an 8,749-square-foot commercial building that houses a Starbucks and several other businesses, Thrasher said. “We’ve got the bank, and then the retail (building), with Starbucks, Elegant Nails and Bridgeport Physical Therapy that have all moved into there,” he said. “Then down the hill below TGI Friday’s we have Regional Eye Associates that just opened up there. We’ve also got Tenmile Land, a land company that opened up right across from Steptoe and Johnson.”
David Thomas, Clear Mountain Bank’s CEO and president, said White Oaks was chosen to house the branch due to is central location. “The White Oaks community is just so vibrant right now,” Thomas said. “There is a lot of activity going on and a lot of businesses around. From that perspective, it was a big draw to provide easy access to our customers.” A multi million-dollar facility that will provide living space for senior citizens, which will be called The Crossings at Bridgeport, is also under construction and is expected to be completed next year, Thrasher said. Aubury Holmes, development manager for Smith/Packett, a senior housing and care development company based in Virginia that will operate the facility, said it will provide a variety of accommodations and services. “This will be a 94,629-square-foot senior living community with assisted living and memory care,” she said. “There will be several amenities, including physical therapy, exercise room, theater, bistro, activity space, outdoor courtyards and walking paths, van transportation to transport residents to activities within the community and a central kitchen with three meals day.” The project has a total budget of approximately $23.15 million, Holmes said.
White Oaks, which was founded in 2008, has kept pace with its developers’ expectations for growth, Thrasher said. “It’s been very exciting for us. It’s definitely picked up pace since the development started,” he said. “It has done what I think everybody hoped it would do from the beginning. Over the last year and half or two years it seems like it has really picked up some speed.” The addition of direct flights to Washington, D.C., and Chicago out of the nearby North Central West Virginia Airport has contributed to White Oaks’ continued growth, Thrasher said. “I certainly don’t think it has hurt,” he said. “I know a lot of people with some existing businesses there have been using that a lot. I think it has serviced our area really well.” “That whole area out there has really been great for the city of Bridgeport and for the county and for North Central West Virginia,” Bridgeport Mayor Andy Lang said. “I think that it’s great they are going to continue to expand.”
The development is divided into three sections, or “phases,” Thrasher said. “In Phase 1, which is where you see most of the buildings, we are closing in toward kind of the end remaining parcels,” he said. “Phase 2 starts with the Thrasher building and goes down to where the assisted living facility will be. They are really kicking off Phase 2 as the first people jumping in there.” In Phase 3, which is still largely vacant, developers estimate White Oaks will continue along its current growth trajectory for the next couple of decades, Thrasher said. “There is probably 20 more years worth of development to happen,” he said. “That’s the plan going forward: To build it out and hope they keep coming.”
Bridgeport Listed by USA Today as One of “America’s 50 Best Cities to Live” in Online Money Section
In an edition of USA Today’s on-line edition, the City of Bridgeport received a little bit of love from the Money section of the newspaper. The publication released its “America’s 50 Best Cities to Live” and Bridgeport made the cut. In fact, it was the only municipality in the Mountain State to make the list.
Bridgeport came in at No. 46. The Web site states that “24/7 Wall Street created a weighted index of over two-dozen measures to identify the best American cities to live in. The communities on this list span the country from coast to coast but are disproportionately concentrated in the Midwest.”
According to the article, in the city “45.3 percent” of adults have graduated from college, nearly the highest share of cities in the state. The high college attainment rate has likely contributed to the town’s relatively high median household income of $80,462 a year.”
Comments Off on White Oaks continues development in 3-phase build-out
White Oaks continues development in 3-phase build-out. The White Oaks planned business community comprises 470 acres that are home to offices, FBI support services, medical support services, oil ad gas businesses, national retailers, restaurants and vital amenities.
Located at the intersection of Interstate 79 and W.Va. 279, the busy corridor sees an estimated average of 48,500 vehicles per day. It is adjacent to the $350 million United Hospital Center, at the doorstep of the FBI’s CJIS Division and the Biometric Center of Excellence. White Oaks is also located in the heart of Marcellus Shale play.
Retail Village Building 2 is under construction, with the first tenant to be Starbucks, Bridgeport Community Development Director Andrea Kerr said.
Starbucks occupies 2,200 square feet of the 8,749-square-foot building located directly across from Building 1, she said.
“Starbucks is estimated to cost about $175,000, while the entire Retail 2 shell is $884,320. The second building will be similar in size to the first one, with room for additional tenants,” Kerr said.
Thrasher said Starbucks will be located in the far right end of Retail Village 2 and feature a drive-through.
“We are looking to turn over that portion of the building to the company by June 1,” Thrasher said. “It will also have a 550-square-foot patio. I anticipate it opening late this year.”
Cove Run Construction is doing the site work on Retail 2. Lee Reger Builds is the building construction contractor.
“There are four more bays available, with interested parties in discussion. We have no final contracts at this time,” Thrasher said.
Clear Mountain Bank will be located directly behind Retail Village 2. Cove Run is doing the site work.
“They are about ready to bid the architectural work,” Thrasher said. “Regional Eye Associates will be located near Friday’s, with Cove Run preparing the site and Elite Custom Builders doing the construction.”
Phase II and Phase III are being marketed now, with Elite Custom Builders to be located across from the W.Va. 131 entrance to White Oaks near Bear Express and the Shell fuel station in an area referred to as The Wedge, Thrasher said.
A large vehicle dealership, Freedom Kia, opened in 2017 in Phase III of White Oaks, located off W.Va. 131.
Hermasilla’s Deli Market, a longtime staple of the Fairmont community, recently opened the doors to a 32-seat second location at White Oaks.
Along with its signature sandwiches — which feature hand-sliced meats, a wide selection of cheeses and an array of toppings, condiments and vegetables — the establishment also offers salads and sells meats and cheeses in bulk.
“White Oaks has been very aggressive in developing their property. They don’t stop in the winter. It is a year-round operation,” Kerr said. “It is good for them and great for us. It is a fantastic partnership that we hope to see continue for many more years.”
Craig Baker, Architecture Division manager for the Thrasher Group, agreed with that sentiment.
“White Oaks should be commended for their steadfast commitment to the architectural design covenants of the park. They had a vision of what they wanted the park to be and stuck with it,” Baker said. “One thing that makes White Oaks special is how they continually strive to maintain their identity as one of West Virginia’s premier business locations. With the addition of the park and trail system, White Oaks has maintained its identity as a great place to work and play.”
White Oaks Phase II does not currently have any lots sold. It is located just past the Manchin Clinic Assisted Living Facility that opened late last year.
Thrasher explained that while Phase I and II are primarily billed as a high-end business park, Phase II will also be for industrial use. Freedom Kia is the first business to locate in that area.
Freedom Kia was previously located on Emily Drive. However, it began to outgrow its space and decided to move in October.
“It came to a point where the volume of sales, our service department could not support. It was a situation where to continue to grow and provide our customers the support and service we want them to continue to have, we needed to give them a facility to be able to do that,” General Manager Jadd Buchanan said.
The dealership facility cost around $5 million, an investment that allowed the company to stay local.
“This became our home. We built a business here, and we didn’t want to abandon the customers we had sold to or serviced over the years,” Buchanan said. “We wanted to provide a location that was much more user-friendly as far as access — now it’s right off I-79, Exit 125 on Saltwell Road. It’s easier to get to for our employees who live in the area, and our residents in this direct area, so I think that was an easy decision.”
In its new location, Freedom Kia has tripled the size of its service department, having gone from four lifts to 12, and added a substantial amount of inventory. The space also includes a car wash, which is complimentary when a car is brought in for servicing, and it’s generally more accessible.
General Sales Manager Dorsey Larew said the larger facility has several perks.
“We can house more mechanics, and therefore get you in and out faster. Sales display was a little tough when you’re parking in a parking lot versus an actual dealership that was built for that, so that’s been good,” Larew said. “With the lot, you can drive around and be able to look at all of our cars without having to get out of yours.”
Located at 97 Joy Lane near Bridgeport, accessibility is a prime feature of the new location.
“We’re a lot more convenient to get in and out of,” Larew said. “Going down Emily Drive, it was tough to get in and out.”
In addition to offering online credit applications and service appointments, a two-year maintenance plan and a lifetime of state inspections on every car purchased at the location, Freedom Kia also has people who truly enjoy their work, said Jeannie Boyles, who has been the receptionist for six years.
“We have great people who work here. They’re dedicated, friendly, and are happy to be here,” Boyles said. “That’s important for the company — to be able to come to work and know what you’re doing. It brings a lot of customers in from around the area, and the customers appreciate that, knowing we care about them that much.”
For the future, Buchanan is looking forward to continued growth and being able to enhance customer service even more, staying focused on giving every individual personal help. At the new location, Freedom Kia offers several complimentary amenities, including local transportation, a kids entertainment room, and more.
Baker-Hughes owns a parcel in Phase III, but there has been no word on the future plans of the company for the site, Thrasher said.
“We work with other developers, but own main developer is White Oaks Business Park and we work with Black Diamond Realty, Morgantown.
Comments Off on White Oaks Continues to Expand, Attract Variety of Industries – The State Journal WV
Nearly a decade after construction first began to develop White Oaks off Jerry Dove Drive, the Bridgeport business park continues to live up to the expectations of Woody Thrasher and Jack Keeley.
“When I started to work with high tech, there were no buildings here,” said Ron Stanley, manager of the White Oaks development. “Steptoe & Johnson had just closed on their parcel, and shortly thereafter, Premier Bank did. It has really, I think, for our area, exploded.”