Wheeling, West Virginia
Celeron Plaza Development
CDBG 30th Anniversary Recognition of Excellence
Where Wheeling Creek meets the Ohio River, French explorer Celeron de Bienville laid claim to all of the territory to the west of the Ohio River for the King of France. This area directly south of the Wheeling Civic Center is now known as Celeron Plaza.
Formerly a warehouse district, the Celeron Plaza area is the premier development site in Wheeling. Located in the southern portion of the City, Celeron Plaza offers prime views of the Ohio River and a strategic geographic location providing access to Interstate 470, the heavily used Wheeling Heritage Walking/Biking Trail and the Wheeling Convention Center. The City of Wheeling has invested in nine of 11 properties to facilitate the development of the area while attempting to preserve its historic flavor.
The City's investment in Celeron Plaza has fueled further development interest from both the private and public sectors. The State of West Virginia completed construction of a new bridge that will provide greater access to Celeron Plaza from the Central Business District. The Maxwell Partners, a private development group, recently invested several million dollars into the award-winning rehabilitation of a former YMCA building in the Celeron Plaza area. This building, now known as Maxwell Center, houses Wheeling's largest law firm and two large professional firms. The Maxwell Partners also completed the renovation of the Wagner Building, an historic 1915 warehouse, into Class A office space. Just Us, another local development group, redeveloped the recently purchased Continental Bakery Building for retail and office use. The Catholic Diocese of Wheeling/Charleston is investing several million dollars into a West Virginia Catholic Heritage Center located in another historic structure within Celeron Plaza.
Neighborhoods adjacent to Celeron Plaza are also experiencing significant redevelopment interest. The Heritage Port Complex, a renovated port area and 6,000-seat amphitheater located north of the Celeron Plaza area, was completed last summer. Ogden Newspapers, Inc. has invested several million dollars for the renovation of an abandoned warehouse for its printing facilities to a site on the eastern side of Celeron Plaza.
The Celeron Plaza project is within the City of Wheeling's established Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy Area (NRSA), and as such, this project has met specific goals for economic development within the NRSA, including: Redeveloping underutilized properties; eliminating blight; providing opportunities for new or expanding businesses; providing meaningful and expanded employment opportunities; and, advocating public/private partnerships.
Wheeling has used a total of over $3.6 million (from CDBG, Section 108 and Brownfields Economic Development Initiative resources) to finance a $10 million revitalization project.
Content Archived: April 20, 2011