MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The city of Morgantown will open bids for asbestos sampling and testing for the structures in the approximately 10-acre area off Richwood Avenue on February 13 at 2:30 p.m.

Russ Rogerson, President and CEO of the Morgantown Area Partnership (MAP), and the Monongalia County Development Authority (MCDA) have worked to move the property through the process of changing the zoning classification from resident R-1 and R-2 to B-1 neighborhood business.

The move to begin identifying parcels that may need remediation before new construction can begin is a major step forward.

“A couple months for the evaluation and identification, and then the city will put out a bid package for the demolition that will include remediation if needed for any of the structures,” Rogerson said.

During the 60 days for testing, the time to review results and release another project to bid for remediation, Rogerson said, their planning and preparation work will continue.

“We’ll further our plans for the property,” Rogerson said. “Doing more engineering work, working with utilities including MUB and the people that do the soft-cost work.”

While those agencies process testing and remediation, developers will begin looking for ideas and shopping designs. Rogerson hopes these efforts will result in new construction on the site in 2024.

“We’ll also be able to work on leasing, and it really frees the developer up to actually do development work,” Rogerson said. “Reaching out and identifying projects and getting letters of intent and negotiations for the go-ahead for construction.”

As parcels are removed and developers forge partnerships, future designs and layouts for new construction will be available. Rogerson said that over the next several months, the community will begin to see more construction activity.

“Understanding exactly the size, scope, and details people would love to see, and so do the people who want to lease these structures,” Rogerson said. “This demo is absolutely a positive first step; I can’t put enough emphasis on that.”

The city of Morgantown will use some of the $700,000 in the Willey, Spruce, and Brockway TIF District to finance testing and demolition.