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Developer wants housing, stores near hospital land in W.Va.

September 19, 2006|by DAVE McMILLION

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - A site south of Charles Town that is expected to be the home of a new Jefferson Memorial Hospital also will include 950 living units and commercial development, a spokesman for the development told Charles Town City Council members Monday night.

The 950 units, which will consist of town houses, apartments and condominiums, will be built by Greenvest L.C., which is building the 3,200-home Huntfield development on U.S. 340.

The new development will have about 14 acres set aside for commercial use, like restaurants or a day-care facility, said Michael P. Pointer of Bowman Consulting, which is doing engineering for the project.

"There's not going to be any big-box retail or anything like that," Pointer said.

The site is north of Old Cave Road and is known as the Hayes property. Greenvest has an option to buy the property and has asked to annex the land into the city, Mayor Peggy Smith has said. The parcel consists of 183 acres.

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The annexation has not been acted on by the council.

There will not be any single-family homes built in the development because Greenvest wants to concentrate on multi-family units that are more affordable, Pointer said.

Pointer said it is too soon to tell when the different sections of the development will be constructed.

Last month, Smith and a Jefferson Memorial Hospital official announced that Greenvest agreed to donate 30 acres at the site for construction of a new hospital.

The hospital is expected to take ownership of the land next year, at which time it will begin construction of physician office space, said Roger M. Eitelman, chief executive officer of West Virginia University Hospitals-East, the organization that operates Jefferson Memorial and City Hospital in Martinsburg, W.Va.

It will take about seven to 10 years to build a new hospital, Eitelman said.

Pointer explained how the hospital site will be developed, saying it will be a campus-style design.

"It will be a huge economic benefit to the city," Pointer said.

Council member Matt Ward, who often raises concerns about rapid growth pressures to the city, asked Pointer why Greenvest wants to have the site in the city.

Pointer said Greenvest has experience working with the city's land-use laws.

Ward also asked Pointer if the developers would be willing to help fund the purchase of the Happy Retreat home. Pointer said he could not respond to that.

The Friends of Happy Retreat has formed to purchase the home of Charles Washington, the brother of George Washington and founder of Charles Town, and make it available for public use.

The asking price is $2.5 million and fundraising has started.

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