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Home Depot, Weis coming to Ranson

March 23, 2005|by DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

RANSON, W.Va. - The Home Depot will be among the stores that will call the new Potomac Marketplace shopping center home, Ranson Mayor David Hamill said Tuesday.

Hamill made the announcement Tuesday morning in Ranson City Council chambers, where a group of local business officials and a developer of the center also gathered.

Potomac Marketplace is being built along the Charles Town Bypass on a property that was recently annexed into the city of Ranson. The shopping center will have about 500,000 square feet of shopping space and will be the biggest shopping center in the county, Ranson officials have said.

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The Home Depot store will be about 102,000 square feet in size and have a 28,000-square-foot garden center, according to a press release which Hamill distributed.

The store will include "Design Place," described as a store-within-a-store that will offer appliances and design and decor merchandise.

The store will offer free do-it-yourself clinics, free monthly kids workshops where children can build projects, and installation services, which feature a growing list of indoor and outdoor services such as roofing and flooring, the press release said.

The store will generate new jobs in the community by sub-contracting those services, the release said.

Home Depot, which is the world's largest home improvement retailer, typically hires about 150 people to run a store the size of the one proposed, the release said.

Site preparation could begin as early as this summer and the store could open by next year, the release said.

Also planned for the shopping center is a Weis Markets supermarket, said Peter Framson, spokesman for Green Light Retail LLC of Bethesda, Md. Green Light is one of the firms developing the shopping center, Framson said.

The Weis Markets store will be 62,000 square feet and will have the capability to expand by another 10,000 square feet, Framson said.

Other stores in the center, which have yet to be identified, will be about 25,000 square feet in size, Framson said.

Ranson has annexed about 3,800 acres since 2002, a move that has brought criticism from some county officials who say it has hurt their land planning efforts in the county.

Ranson city officials have defended the annexations because of the economic growth they can spur, and Hamill emphasized again Tuesday the need for the town to move ahead.

Hamill said Ranson is about to embark on a future "that people never dreamed of."

Hamill said he realizes some people in the county are concerned about too much growth.

"But it's a fact of life that growth is coming. We're controlling it," Hamill said.

Hamill said he believes brisk economic growth is important, especially in light of the fact that some towns across the U.S. have stagnant business areas.

"You need to move ahead. You can't stand still," Hamill said.

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