This article comes from our media partners at Connect Bridgeport.
CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (WDTV) – Nearly two years after the doors were closed, the building that formerly housed Kroger in downtown Clarksburg is set to have a new business.
Clarksburg Mayor Jimmy Marino confirmed to Connect Bridgeport that O’Reilly Auto Parts has officially filed a building permit with the city. The permit is for $555,677. Marino said a contractor has not been named to do the work.
“That’s a big get for the city, especially considering the building has been sitting vacant for some time now,” said Marino.
Kroger on Pike Street closed on Jan. 19, 2021.
“Any building, particularly a building that big, if it sits vacant for too long it is sure to deteriorate,” said Marino. “Now, we have a national brand coming to the West End of Clarksburg’s downtown.”
Marino is aware that many in the community have been hopeful that a grocery store would eventually call the former Kroger site home. However, with the building being on the market, there were no takers from any grocery retailers. In fact, the city even did something it rarely does.
“That was requested by many, in particular by the individuals who live in the two nearby high-rise apartments that have a lot of older residents. They liked the idea to shop and be able to walk there,” said Marino. “We did something we don’t usually do and had our economic development people reach out to people and didn’t have any luck. There is a thought process sometimes that cities can go out and just say who they want to come here and then they’ll come, but unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. The developers or owners of the property in almost every case end up finding tenants.”
O’Reilly Auto Parts has nearly 6,000 locations in 47 states.
“They will not be using all of the square footage of the building,” said Marino. “The good news is that we are confident that their presence will lead to the rest of the building being filled. Ideally, you would like to have the entire space filled, but stores like that have a footprint they follow and they won’t exceed it.”
Marino did not have a timeline as to when work would start or be completed. However, he said it is still good news.
“We’ve seen a lot of investment in the West End recently, including the renovation of McDonald’s, a new pawn shop, several other businesses, and now this,” said Marino. “They have taken a prime location as well. We anticipate they will have a long stay in Clarksburg.”
The Kroger store opened in 1970. It closed a day before the new Kroger at Clarksburg Eastpointe opened.
FOR RELATED COVERAGE
Kroger set to close West Pike Street location
Copyright 2022 WDTV. All rights reserved.