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Morgantown company shifting to accumulate Pennsylvania Avenue properties

MORGANTOWN — The formation of the Morgantown Land Reuse and Preservation Company was finalized in January 2019, making it the primary of its variety in West Virginia. 

It opened with a bang. 

That very same 12 months, the company privately financed $1.6 million via Group Financial institution to purchase the 12,000-square-foot constructing at 430 Spruce St., at present serving as Morgantown’s momentary metropolis corridor. 

That continues to be MLRPA’s solely acquisition up to now. 

But it surely seems like there’s about to be a second, and presumably a 3rd and fourth. 

Throughout its most-recent month-to-month assembly, the physique authorized the acquisition of 657 Pennsylvania Ave. for a worth to not exceed $60,000. 

The property sits on the break up of Brockway and Pennsylvania avenues on .03 acres, in keeping with the Monongalia County Assessor’s parcel viewer website. The land and construction, described as a “tear down,” through the assembly, has an appraised worth of $94,000 in keeping with the location. 

Simply up the street, a purchase order sale settlement is within the works for the acquisition of 570 Pennsylvania Ave. Talks are underway relating to different properties alongside that avenue. 

“This is among the focused areas we’re targeted on,” Morgantown Director of Growth Providers Rickie Yeager mentioned. 

Tim Stranko, one of many company’s seven board members, defined the final word aim is to accumulate these properties and batch them collectively as a single demolition undertaking.  

Transferring away from Pennsylvania Avenue, there’s additionally curiosity in 121 Kingwood St., which, in keeping with Yeager, has been vacant for nicely over a decade. 

“They’ve made contact with town legal professional’s workplace they usually’re making ready the deed and different paperwork that must be completed for 121 (Kingwood) to be acquired. As quickly as we do have management of that, we’ll schedule an underutilized property committee and exit and take a look at the property and assess whether or not it needs to be slated for demolition or there’s a possible for rehab,” he mentioned. 

Made attainable by the legislature’s passage of the West Virginia Land Reuse Company Authorization Act in 2014, a land reuse company, or land financial institution, is a public physique created to facilitate the return of vacant, deserted and tax-delinquent properties for productive use. Because the identify suggests, it may also be used to protect or defend land.  

The company has autonomy to make purchases or purchase property via presents, public or non-public lenders or different means. Morgantown Metropolis Council appoints members to three-year phrases however doesn’t have closing say over acquisitions.  

The company can’t entry metropolis funds, train eminent area or make purchases outdoors metropolis limits. 

In accordance with The Dominion Publish archive, town agreed to pay $138,000 yearly to MLRPA to be used of the primary flooring of the Spruce Avenue constructing. The company anticipated one other $60,000 in annual income for second-floor tenants. 

In December 2022, Morgantown Metropolis Corridor (389 Spruce) closed for a significant renovation undertaking, forcing all metropolis workplaces throughout the road into what was initially referred to as the “metropolis corridor annex.” 

Morgantown Metropolis Corridor is predicted to reopen to the general public subsequent month. Some workplaces, together with town supervisor’s workplace, human sources, IT and metropolis communications are anticipated to remain at 430 Spruce St.