Public invited to share input on revitalization

June 04, 2003|by DAVE McMILLION

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - An eight-screen movie complex.

Restaurants, office space tailored to high-tech companies, or facilities to hold festivals or music concerts.

Those are some of the ideas being proposed as officials begin deciding what kind of businesses and other attractions should be built in an area in Charles Town and Ranson, W.Va., which is currently dominated by abandoned commercial buildings.

Before a shovelful of dirt is turned in the area in and around North Street, officials involved in the revitalization project want to get input from local residents.

On Tuesday, the first of two public meetings was held inside the newly renovated C. Broadway Rouss Hall on George Street to gather public input.


Project planners met Tuesday with local officials and residents to determine what would work best in the downtown area.

Today, project planners will be at the C. Broadway Rouss Hall from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. to meet with local residents and show them some preliminary plans, said Darren Asper, vice-president of planning and development for Delta Development Group Inc., one of two firms hired by the City of Charles Town to come up with ideas for the area.

At 6 p.m., there will be a formal presentation at the hall to review the ideas from local residents, Asper said.

Project planners are thinking about encouraging a mix of businesses, from areas that could be used for concerts and festivals, to areas that have restaurants and high-tech businesses.

"It wouldn't be something that would compete with Wal-Mart," said Deborah K. Tollett, a planning and development analyst with Delta Development.

The city of Charles Town is seeking $650,000 through U.S. Sen. Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va., to clear land for the redevelopment.

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