August Newsletter: Fear. Uncertainty. Challenging Economic Times.Comments Off on August Newsletter: Fear. Uncertainty. Challenging Economic Times.
View our August Newsletter: Inflation Fears…Nobody is Immune
View our August Newsletter: Inflation Fears…Nobody is Immune
View our July Newsletter: BDR Kicks Off Summer With A Splash!
View our June Newsletter: Starting A New Business? Don’t Do It Alone!
Two longtime Morgantown car washes are for sale after their owner decided it was time to retire and enjoy the next chapter of his life. “I don’t fish, hunt or play golf,” said Don Stenger, owner of the shuttered Stenger’s on Chestnut Ridge Road and South High Turbo-Matic on High Street. “It’s going to be a hard transition.”
Stenger, 69, said he decided to close Stenger’s in April after it became too hard for him to find help to staff the business he has owned since 1982. “That was the deciding factor,” he said. “The help I did have was always short-handed.” Stenger has owned South High Turbo-Matic since 1952. It was the site of his family’s store — Stenger’s Inc. — and was converted to an automated car wash after Stenger said his father showed him one in Huntington, where the line was three blocks long.
“He said to me ‘Donnie if I open one, will you give me a hand?’ ” said Stenger, who was 16 at the time. “I said sure.” The South High Street location will remain open until bad weather hits the area later this year, he said. “For the past seven years, business has dwindled,” Stenger said. “Students today don’t wash their cars. A clean car is a happy car, but I don’t think that is the case today.”
Both the Chestnut Ridge and South High properties have been listed for sale with Black Diamond Realty LLC. The asking price for the 767 Chestnut Ridge property is $1.95 million. According to the marketing brochure, the total available space is 7,805 square feet and 32,493 vehicles pass the site daily. The ground level of the main building is 6,623 square feet that was used mostly as cashier space and a waiting area. The second floor is 1,049 square feet of storage space. The building also includes five 14-foot-by-nine-foot overhead doors and a large tunnel with an automatic car wash bay. A detached, 133-square-foot building is also on the property. It was previously used as a pet grooming station.
The asking price for the automatic car wash located at 132 S. High St. is $1.225 million, Black Diamond said. Even though the business dates back to 1952, the current 5,883-square-foot building was constructed in 1980. The car wash, which sits on .67-acre parcel, has nine car wash stalls and 10 vacuum stalls. The additional parking space is available for interior cleaning and detailing. The interior of the building has office and laundry space.
“I don’t think I could have held on without my wife, Jackie,” Stenger said. “I also want to thank Morgantown for its business over the years.”
View 132 South High Street Marketing Flyer: CLICK HERE
View 767 Chestnut Ridge Road Marketing Flyer: CLICK HERE
View our September Newsletter: Award Winning Investment Opportunity Revealed
View our August Newsletter: Big Things Happening for Black Diamond Realty
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 1 is fully occupied, with the newest tenants being Rominger Dental, Bonnie Belle’s Pastries and Hermasilla’s Deli. They all opened their doors in 2017.
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.
Staff writer Darlene J. Swiger, The Exponent Telegram
View our February Newsletter: Local Business For Sale Creates Big Opportunity
View our September Newsletter: Black Diamond Trophy Reenergizes a Rivalry While Industrial Demand Ramps Up
PLEASANT VALLEY – Valley Worlds of Fun has been part of Marion County’s history for decades. Now, the property is for sale and it has residents worried about what it means for the future of the entertainment center.
Since 1972, Bruce Martin’s family has been the name behind Valley Worlds of Fun. It started as Valley Lanes, a 32-lane bowling alley. Then came the entertainment center, which Bruce’s father, Bob, started with a purpose. “He just had always felt some kind of a mission in life to provide the kids in the neighborhood a place to play. He thought we were pretty lacking in recreational stuff in the area and he just always wanted to give back in that way,” said Bruce Martin, Co-Owner of Valley Worlds of Fun. But several years ago, Bob suffered a stroke. It was around the time of the recession, when families cut expenses for recreational activities. Bruce said the aging population did not help, either. “One of the challenges we’ve had over the years is since the population doesn’t change on a regular basis, we needed to change so that it didn’t become boring or old had to people. We needed to make it new and exciting all the time and that’s certainly a challenge,” said Bruce Martin.
Now, it is for sale for $1.9 million, plus $200,000 for the attractions. The Martin family is looking for someone who will buy the property as is and improve it as a family entertainment center. Within the last several years, new attractions like archery tag, knocker balls and a new laser tag system have been installed. “We’ve just reached a point where I’d love to find somebody that this is their primary focus want to carry on the tradition for the neighborhood,” Bruce Martin said.
Bruce said all events scheduled at Valley Worlds of Fun will continue as planned and his family will continue with ownership until a sale is finalized.
View our June Newsletter: Summer Fun Awaits! See Where…