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Shopping plaza plans OK'd in Berkeley Co.

October 02, 2007|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Plans for a shopping center on about 48 acres just outside of the City of Martinsburg's southwestern boundary received preliminary approval from the Berkeley County Planning Commission on Monday.

The proposed development site is off W.Va. 45 (Apple Harvest Drive), just west of Interstate 81 and developer John M. Abernathy of AIG Baker Real Estate said he anticipated groundbreaking to take place between December 2006 and March 2007.

"We did not deny that Target was one of the tenants," Abernathy said of public comments made during the commission's review of the project.

Abernathy said the Birmingham, Ala., company he works for anticipates eight "major national retailers" and 20 to 25 smaller national and local tenants to occupy about 425,000 square feet of building space at the site. Some tenants have already committed to opening in the development.

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He anticipated the plaza would be open for business between March and July 2009. Though an entrance permit from the West Virginia Division of Highways is pending, Abernathy said the shopping center will have a single five-lane entrance and exit point along W.Va. 45 where a new traffic signal is planned. Access lanes on W.Va. 45 also are part of the plan. The signal is expected to function with one in place at the nearby I-81 exit ramp, Abernathy said.

Along with the approval, the planning commission gave the developer variances rules regarding the access road's curves, parking stalls and curbed pavement width.

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