By Jeff Toquinto
There will soon be a new property owner and business at the Charles Pointe Development thanks to a public auction held Friday morning at the Bridgeport Municipal Complex.
Community Care of West Virginia (CCWV) was the sole, and winning, bidder of the auction that began at 10 a.m. at the front doors of the Main Street building. The auction was for a 2.06-acre parcel situated at 100 Marketplace Avenue in Bridgeport and hosts the building that is currently the home to the Greater Bridgeport Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Shortly after Bridgeport Building Commission Attorney John C. Ashcom opened the bidding it was over. Jamie Parker, who serves as General Counsel for CCWV, met the minimum bid requirement of $3.5 million.
The still relatively new building was previously home to Fairmont State University and the Mountain East Conference. The MEC left during the COVID pandemic, while Fairmont State occupied the entire second floor of the two-story and roughly 20,000 square foot structure.
CCWV is a non-profit corporation, a federally qualified health center, which manages primary healthcare centers throughout North Central West Virginia and beyond. It already has a presence in the city as CCWV is currently leasing space in the Mitre Corporation building at White Oaks.
“We started in Rock Cave… and we’ve now grown to over 17 clinics in North Central West Virginia,” said Parker.
The corporation offers primary care services, behavioral health services, pharmacy services, urgent care services, and more. Parker pointed out that CCWV has more than 50 school-based health centers throughout the region, including Harrison County. Primary care and behavioral health services are currently being offered at the White Oaks site.
“As behavioral health grows, this opportunity presented itself with the potential to own our own building but have the ability to utilize the space as we see fit,” said Parker. It will allow us the additional space so that we can provide the serves that are needed and necessary as they are needed not just here in Harrison County, but in the surrounding areas we serve as well.”
Harrison, Lewis, Upshur, Pocahontas, Greenbrier, Randolph, and Clay are among the counties where CCWV has a presence. While the new building will be key, it will not be CCWV’s new headquarters. The main presence, Parker said, will remain in Upshur County.
Although the majority of the CVB building that was successfully bid on is already finished and move-in ready, Parker said CCWV will not be moving in immediately. There will need to be remodeling and other issues addressed to make it a healthcare facility.
“When we move in depends on how long the remodeling takes,” said Parker, who said he hopes the facility will be open by “no later than the end of the year if not sooner.”
Parker said CCWV will retain the Thrasher Group, which designed the building, to assist in retrofitting it for their needs. He also added that it is “likely” they will leave the Mitre building once the lease is up.
As for the new building, Parker said it will include primary care and behavioral health. He added they are looking at the potential to add a pharmacy and an urgent care facility as well. There will be roughly 40 employees in the building. There are, at last count according to Parker, 546 employees under the CCWV umbrella.
“That building gives us the space to do all of that if we opt to go in that direction,” Parker said.
If operations feature just the current operations as done at White Oaks, it will be a Monday through Friday operation. The addition of urgent care would change that to seven days a week.
The process of officially acquiring the building requires more steps to be completed. However, CCWV met the requirements to successfully bid for the building.
The building and parcel are owned by the Bridgeport Building Commission. The Commission leased the building to the city and the city subleased the property to the CVB. Both the city and the CVB signed off on the selling of the property.