REDP: Regional Economic Development Partnership

Regional Economic
Development Partnership
1100 Main Street, 3rd Floor
P.O. Box 1029
Wheeling, WV 26003
Phone: 304.232.7722
Fax: 304.232.7727
Email: info@redp.org

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RED is a division of Ohio Valley Industrial and Business Development Corporation (OVIBDC). Copyright © 2017 Regional Economic Development Partnership

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Stone Center Apartments Work Progressing

It’s a project that will revitalize Downtown Wheeling. Bringing apartment living to working adults who are looking to live in the middle of exciting projects being developed.

Big changes are happening in the Stone Center in Downtown Wheeling. The floors of the former Stone and Thomas department store are now unrecognizable through the steel, wood and insulation, but come October, the apartments will be move-in ready.

"Well we’re through most difficult part, which is the demolition and mechanical and laying them out and kind of getting from the plan stage to how we’re actually going to build the units," said Jeff Woda, Principal of the Woda Group, Inc. "A lot of what we have left is finish the framing, a lot of the dry wall, the paint and then the finishes which will go a lot faster than what has gone to date."

Offering stunning views of Downtown from some of the massive windows, and the Ohio River from others, the one and two bedroom apartments will give residents a whole new look at the Friendly City. But restoration of a 115-year-old building doesn’t come without a few bumps in the road.

"There have been a few changes along the way, that’s part of my job to make sure we get it done, the lofts are unique, it’s turning out really nice," project manager Del Hollern said. 

Hollern said the biggest challenge is when you demo an old building, you don’t know what you’re getting into, "You’re making the changes on the fly, or as you go."

Where it permits, much of the original feel of the building, a place Woda used to visit with his mom as a child, is being preserved.  "We kept the ceilings high, where the units were high ceilings, we kept as much of the original flooring as possible, we even showed you some samples of how we’re going to finish off the hardwood flooring that was there," he said. "So we really wanted that feel of what the building originally was, and we’re putting housing into the building, but we want the residents to feel like the building is what it is."

Old brick will be exposed, and the duct work will offer an industrial feel. The kitchens will feature granite counter tops, and units on the top floor will have sky lights in some of the rooms.

The WODA Group said none of this would be possible without the Regional Economic Development Partnership and the city of Wheeling.

"Working with RED, we came up with the idea of leasing space from them, here in the Stone Center, and we took a two-prong approach where we’re both taking some risk that the demand is there and the units will be filled," Woda said.

Both said they’re pleased to be working with a city that is so adaptable. "Everything has been moving really well, the city has been very helpful to us, this is probably the, I would say one of the easier towns I have worked in, you know, you pick up the phone, they answer, they actually call you back and they take pride in what they do, they take ownership in it and they help you get through the process," Hollern said.

The 22 apartments are on track for an October 1 move-in date. The Wheeling Nailers will be housed on the first floor of units for one year, as per an agreement with RED. The 12 loft style-apartments will be the first available to rent.

Already, WODA has seen a huge interest in the downtown living, and have taken many applications. Anyone who is interested in living in the Stone Center apartments can apply on www.wodagroup.com. WODA will then contact applicants for additional information.

The group is also planning a number of other housing investments in the Wheeling area. Announcements on those plans will be made soon. 

To view the video and see pictures, check out the story on WTRF-7 @ www.wtrf.com/story/29599719/only-on-7-first-look-inside-stone-center-apartments-being-built-in-downtown-wheeling