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Old 09-23-2009, 02:55 PM
 
Location: Martinsburg, West Virginia
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Does anybody have any information about the old Blue Ridge Outlet Center that used to be in Martinsburg years ago? I have heard it was a pretty popular place and that people from DC area would actually go there to shop on the weekends. It closed, however before I moved here and now it's owned by the city. Does anybody have (or know where I can find) a store list and/or pictures of the old center? Thank you in advance!!! -mmccul
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Old 09-23-2009, 06:02 PM
 
Location: Martinsburg, WV
234 posts, read 739,662 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmccul View Post
Does anybody have any information about the old Blue Ridge Outlet Center that used to be in Martinsburg years ago? I have heard it was a pretty popular place and that people from DC area would actually go there to shop on the weekends. It closed, however before I moved here and now it's owned by the city. Does anybody have (or know where I can find) a store list and/or pictures of the old center? Thank you in advance!!! -mmccul
I was pretty young when this outlet center was in operation, so I don't remember a whole lot about it. It had pretty much the same stores that the Prime Outlet has now. From what I remember Prime Retail was going to "buy" the Blue Ridge Outlets, but it was just a front to gain access to the lease files. They took the confidential information and used it to open a new outlet center off I70 in Hagerstown, MD and pretty much stole all the tenants. The Blue Ridge Outlets owners sued Prime Retail, but lost. The outlets then lost all tenants and closed.

It sounds crazy, but years and years ago Martinsburg was the retail attraction of the area with Blue Ridge Outlets, Tanger Outlets, and the outlet center where St. Joseph School is at now.

You ask if it was an attraction from people around the area, well I have a story. The outlet center is now Blue Ridge Community and Technical College, well a couple years ago it was part of Shepherd University. In 2003 I was taking a class there and was walking across the parking lot and was stopped by a lady. She was from Roanoke, VA and was wondering where the outlets was, she was driving through the area and remember the stores. I was amazed, this was many years after the last store had closed.


Heres a picture of one of the buildings:
http://www.westvirginia.com/images/outlet.jpg

And a architect website:
Blue Ridge Outlet Center (http://www.gdaaia.com/blueridge.htm - broken link)

It was in three buildings: The Berkeley Building, the Crawford building, and I can't remember the third name.
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Old 09-24-2009, 08:04 AM
 
Location: Lost in Montana *recalculating*...
15,322 posts, read 17,637,090 times
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Dunn Building
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Old 09-24-2009, 08:59 AM
 
Location: Triangle, North Carolina
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The Old Mill buildings (where my grandmother worked in the 20's) spanned from the location off of Raleigh Street then over off King and Porter Avenue. The garment industry was the heart of Martinsburg during the 20's and 30's.

The Dunn buildings not to mention the other, which at one time was the A&P Store, then Piggly Wiggly, was transformed by Moncure Chatfield Taylor into shopping centers. Chatfield also purchased the old City Hall building on King Street across from what was also the Post Office and Federal Building.

Taylor did a great job placing the shopping center, which brought commerce back to a decaying Martinsburg downtown. The issues of it's downfall was the new construction of the Outlet Malls in Hagerstown. First it was closer to Washington DC, then the overall sales tax in Maryland was less than WV.
The next thing, bankruptcy due to decreasing sales and leverage.

Of course today it is owned by the county government. Downtown Martinsburg is only a shell of what it once was. Once a vibrant, beautiful, historical town, where folks, family, and fun intertwined. Today, as with many old town areas, it has decayed. With the history it could be a gold mine. The buildings alone added with the railroad, etc., could create Boomtown once again, but that cannot happen until the clique that runs the place is replaced.

You can find some history on the following links.

Blue Ridge Outlet Center (http://www.gdaaia.com/blueridge.htm - broken link)
Interwoven Mills (http://www.gdaaia.com/interwoven.htm - broken link)

Martinsburg, WV Historic - Opening of Interwoven Mills on Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/1sock/779370176/ - broken link)
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Old 09-24-2009, 11:04 AM
 
298 posts, read 703,501 times
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Default Downtown

All downtown needs is that one major tennant that is nowhere else in the general 50 mile radius area.Any suggestions?
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Old 09-24-2009, 11:13 AM
 
Location: Triangle, North Carolina
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The biggest discussion point in regard to downtown for years was the Gateway Inn. For years that place was in limbo as a contractor from DC wanted to buy it and revamp the place. If this happened, Martinsburg would be a large modern day Shepherdstown. We would have seen a slew of the century old buildings probably go condo etc. Instead, it was red tape city with the historical society, etc., which would rather place a plaque on the location and watch it fall down.
Downtown does not need a major chain, what it needed is what has transpired in Shepherdstown and Berkeley Springs. Investors with vision that would remodel to a specific code, though new, and breath life in the place.
Instead, the Martinsburg politic prevailed as it always has, thus the lose of life and now you have a main street (Queen) empty, with the vintage porn shop, and out of business deli's, shops, and hardware stores, etc., King Street isn't any better either. It's to bad for many "long term" folks who have ran family businesses there for years.
Maybe good things will come in time, but who knows. When the church's go from open door, to having code key'd double action bolt locks placed on houses of worship speaks wonders on a direction not to go.
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Old 09-24-2009, 12:02 PM
 
Location: Lost in Montana *recalculating*...
15,322 posts, read 17,637,090 times
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I think Benson Fogle is still renovating the old Gateway Inn.
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Old 09-24-2009, 12:21 PM
 
Location: Lost in Montana *recalculating*...
15,322 posts, read 17,637,090 times
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There once was man in Nantucket, who lost Blue Ridge Outlets and said "f**k it..."

Former mall owner leads the opposition | www.nantucketindependent.com | The Nantucket Independent Newspaper (http://www.nantucketindependent.com/news/2005/0824/Front_Page/003.html - broken link)
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Old 09-24-2009, 03:54 PM
 
Location: Triangle, North Carolina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Threerun View Post
There once was man in Nantucket, who lost Blue Ridge Outlets and said "f**k it..."

Former mall owner leads the opposition | www.nantucketindependent.com | The Nantucket Independent Newspaper (http://www.nantucketindependent.com/news/2005/0824/Front_Page/003.html - broken link)
I remember that battle. Prime was going to buyout the Outlet Malls from Chatfield. At zero hour, Washington County Maryland via the state offered very generous tax breaks to Prime to build off Exit 29 which, outside of an old gas station at that time and the UPS terminal, there was not much to offer in the area as a connector to Halfway.

Prime in turn went to West By God for the same treatment upon sale of Blue Ridge. Of course the state with the 1% sales tax detrament along with a higher corporate tax would not budge. Boom dead deal.

Chatfield, who would reside on the top floor of the old City Hall building that he converted into a condo was looking for an out. Any businessman knows that you cannot compete with an outlet mall offering the same or similar type stores right on a highway, with less sales tax and overhead in regard to state tax requirements.

Basically, the implosion hit. I remember reading the paper and the listening to the talk of the town about Chatfield. Moncur the monster. The DC type guy in his top condo, how dare that guy come in here and screw up our town crap. So, correct he dropped the program. Had to lose tons of money.
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Old 09-24-2009, 03:56 PM
 
Location: Triangle, North Carolina
2,819 posts, read 9,666,927 times
Reputation: 1511
Quote:
Originally Posted by Threerun View Post
There once was man in Nantucket, who lost Blue Ridge Outlets and said "f**k it..."

Former mall owner leads the opposition | www.nantucketindependent.com | The Nantucket Independent Newspaper (http://www.nantucketindependent.com/news/2005/0824/Front_Page/003.html - broken link)
I see a poem starting here
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