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Downtown office building planned in Charles Town

July 17, 2007|by DAVE McMILLION

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Construction is expected to begin this fall on a 30,000-square-foot office building along North George Street that has been planned for high-tech business.

Peter Chakmakian of First Charles Town Group Inc. initially proposed the project in April 2005.

The building will be constructed on what is known as the Viener property, the spot of a former salvage yard, Chakmakian has said.

The site is in a roughly 100-acre area that includes old commercial areas that the towns of Charles Town and Ranson, W.Va., were considering redeveloping.

At one time, officials said they believed the area is ideal to develop projects like office space, a retail and movie complex, housing and recreation areas.

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The proposed office building was originally planned to be 40,000 square feet, but was reduced by 10,000 feet to provide adequate parking, which is at a premium downtown, Charles Town Mayor Peggy Smith said at a Charles Town City Council meeting Monday night.

Chakmakian initially said the building would cost up to $4.5 million to construct.

Smith said she could not go into detail about prospective tenants for the building, but said she believes it will be successful.

"I think once they start construction, there won't be a problem," Smith said.

Construction on the building will probably begin about the time a renovation project is completed on City Hall at the intersection of George and Washington streets, Smith said.

The building had to be renovated after a two-inch water line ruptured in it last year and flooded city offices.

Smith suggested a ceremony be held to celebrate the completion of the renovation and the construction of the office building. Smith said she would like to invite Gov. Joe Manchin to the ceremony.

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