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Old 04-01-2017, 06:37 PM
 
435 posts, read 266,492 times
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Excerpts about the latest news on the East End Developments

The new projects underway for the East End of Charleston are shaping up to be the catalysts for driving future growth in that area of the city for years to come. The main feature central to it all is the totally enclosed indoor recreational center known as “KCBS” –Kayaking, Climbing, Biking, Snow Boarding Center. It is a 100,000 plus square foot building with an exterior consisting mainly of glass topped with a pyramid like mountain design on one end to compliment the topography and terrain of WV. Inside of the structure there will be an indoor mountain bike track, kayaking loops including one with a water fall and a 100 foot tall “mountain” designed for indoor climbers to enhance their climbing skills. The mountain itself will also include two cavern sections, one for the bike trail and another for a kayaking loop. It also features an enclosed cold climate controlled section that offers 50 foot snowboarding slopes year round.




This activity center is just one part of the plans finally being implemented for Charleston to reinvent itself and become a destination for travelers and conventioneers alike and to also attract a younger population of educated workers as well as students to the nearby colleges and universities.



With the recent investments leading to upgrades at Mountain Stage, each week of that show will now feature nationally well-known acts in addition to lesser-known but up-and-coming artists as well. It’s all part of the plan to allow Mountain stage to become the Alt-rock, Alt-County, Alt-Folk version of the Grand Ole Opry and it will now reach a wider audience by bringing in bigger acts to town each week. This is expected to connect especially with Millenials who Charleston is hoping to attract more of with these new projects.


The work is already underway too on the skybridge over the Kanawha from the Southside UC campus to the East End Campus and “The Commons” developments underway there. There were some reservations about constructing a pedestrian bridge across the Kanawha River but the need for it was deemed much more important to connect the University campus with the East End section of town. The aesthetic concerns were alleviated as well with the bridge being built at the far end of the UC campus and constructed of wrought-iron and other materials to give it a classical appearance that fits in nicely with the capitol building and architecture of the east end. The skybridge is all a central element that connects with the new bike and recreational path system across the city.




In addition to student housing and classroom space the retail portion of “The Commons” will include Trader Joe’s and some new fast casual dining options currently not in the area. It’s part of the goal to revitalize the East End and take advantage of that scenic and historical part of the city and re-energize it with youth. According to the mayor “attracting more students to the University and bringing in more young people to the city will help create and maintain a more vibrant environment in town. Plus many of the areas that these out-of-state students come from already have several of these stores and restaurants so we don’t want them to become shocked and disappointed by the lack of options offered here in Charleston.” The mayor also went on to note that ”This new Trader Joe’s finally solves the problem of the need for having a grocery store on the east end. And with it being unique to the region it will draw from a 2 hour radius in and around Charleston…that’s over ľ million people and maybe more."



Also adding "with it being so close to the Capitol Complex and right off the interstate exit there’s always going to be a steady stream of shoppers in and out of that place. This is a win-win for everyone! It’s a hard thing to do, to spend money to make money and it’s a risk but it’s a risk we have to take. We’ve gotten too far behind and gotten off-track and it’s time we came up with some new ideas and put those ideas to use for a brighter future for us all. We’ve put so much into the renovation of the Civic Center but we realize too that the building alone is not enough to turn things around and attract more people to come here. We have to give them places to go, things to do and see and I think we now understand that and are making it happen. Hopefully too folks of all ages will like what they see so much that they would consider this a place worth moving to and bringing us more growth and investment. We’ve got to become aggressive to survive as a city and we’ve got to do things to bring in people with new ideas and creativity in order to do that.”


According to the mayor the main goal in providing tax breaks and helping to fund these projects was a “no-brainer” in itself. “In order for Charleston and WV to grow we have to open our eyes and be willing to go the extra mile to get things like this done…we have to change the perception of our city and the state and projects like these are great ways to do that. These developments are going to bring people in from locations outside the region and give them something unique to do that many areas don’t have to offer. We want folks to come here, play here and stay here. Come experience our indoor recreational center, a one of a kind unique cutting-edge facility, take in a show at Mountain Stage and then go to The Commons to eat and shop there afterwards. And with all the new hotel construction they’ll have plenty of options to chose from.” The mayor also noted that help was on the way for the struggling Town Center mall. The mayor didn’t go into specifics but is known that a 4-d theater is one the tenants on board with the redevelopment plan to make the mall more attractive to families and middle class shoppers.



The mayor was asked but offered only a little comment on the proposals underway too that are looking at offering free office rent and lodging to small hi-tech and STEM related companies to locate their businesses in the city as well. It is now understood that large scale manufacturing and distribution centers are not feasible with the geography of the area. However, the size of Charleston’s downtown and an abundance of vacant office space can become fertile ground for small business entrepreneurs.



According to the mayor “We just have to entice them to come here. Some people aren’t going to understand what we are going to do by giving away free office space and offering free lodging. However, people also need to step back and analyze our situation. Our image is terrible. WV’s image is terrible. So it’s going to take out-of-the-box thinking and creativity to turn this around. Yes I realize it’s a risk for us but think about it from an outsider’s perspective coming here…it’s a risk for them too. We either start taking risks and start turning things around or the blight we are seeing right now will only get worse.”



Felicem Stultus Aprilis
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Old 04-02-2017, 05:22 AM
 
Location: 304
5,085 posts, read 6,825,506 times
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Although this was a sick joke that had me going up until the end of the first paragraph, a lot of the ideas were good and a lot of what you "Mayor Jones" said was true. I was actually thinking about the pedestrian bridge from UC to the East End just yesterday. It might be worth looking into because it would be tremendous for growth on the East End.
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Old 04-02-2017, 05:55 AM
 
Location: WV and Eastport, ME
11,080 posts, read 10,926,075 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chriscross309 View Post
Although this was a sick joke that had me going up until the end of the first paragraph, a lot of the ideas were good and a lot of what you "Mayor Jones" said was true. I was actually thinking about the pedestrian bridge from UC to the East End just yesterday. It might be worth looking into because it would be tremendous for growth on the East End.
Noting the date on the Opening Post.

Chris, I don't think you're old enough to remember it, but there has been discussion about another bridge across the Kanawha River being build as long ago as the mid/late 60s. Back then, they were talking about a bridge to split the distance between the South Side Bridge and the Kanawha City Bridge. That would have connected somewhere near Porter Road on the South Side and Ruffner Avenue on the North Side. When you look at the construction costs to build a bridge across a river that's 1200 feet wide, the chances of seeing one ever built seem pretty slim. When the idea of a pedestrian bridge came up, it occurred to me that the money to build a bridge could probably fund several other worthwhile projects that would serve the city better than a bridge. That being said, UC seems to come up with vast sums of money to fund their projects, so, who knows?
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Old 04-02-2017, 03:42 PM
 
27 posts, read 17,014 times
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This was truly cruel!
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Old 04-04-2017, 11:22 AM
 
435 posts, read 266,492 times
Reputation: 245
Sorry not trying to be cruel but just a little provactive perhaps. I really debated hard on doing an April Fool's post on the Crossing's Mall bridge but it gets me too angry. It's such a third world situation to take this long to put 500 people back to work in a state that needs jobs and revenue...

Anyhow I just cannot fathom that there is no vision for Charleston and not even an idea really of Charleston when it comes to growth. They'll do renovations and streetscapes but when it comes to any type of growth there doesn't seem to be a concept except maybe fast food joints and strip malls. There's almost like a bubble around the city that prevents innovation from occurring.
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Old 04-04-2017, 11:28 AM
 
Location: 304
5,085 posts, read 6,825,506 times
Reputation: 1697
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnNada View Post
Sorry not trying to be cruel but just a little provactive perhaps. I really debated hard on doing an April Fool's post on the Crossing's Mall bridge but it gets me too angry. It's such a third world situation to take this long to put 500 people back to work in a state that needs jobs and revenue...

Anyhow I just cannot fathom that there is no vision for Charleston and not even an idea really of Charleston when it comes to growth. They'll do renovations and streetscapes but when it comes to any type of growth there doesn't seem to be a concept except maybe fast food joints and strip malls. There's almost like a bubble around the city that prevents innovation from occurring.
Well put on all points. The Elkview thing baffles me as well!!!
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