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Menards shows signs of life in Parkersburg

PARKERSBURG — The new Menards store at Emerson Commons is coming closer to being a reality.

Recently, three signs were erected around the property highlighting that Menards would be located at the retail site on Emerson Avenue near the intersection of Interstate 77. Signs were put at each entrance to the site and one on the property that can be seen from the interstate.

Menards is a hardware, outdoors and home improvement chain of stores based in Wisconsin and has been building locations in the region, including Athens, Huntington and Clarksburg.

Menards has been looking at the Parkersburg area for a couple years.

Company officials said they are still planning to build in the Parkersburg area.

Jeff Abbott, spokesperson for Menard, Inc., said plans are moving forward to build a store in the Parkersburg area.

“We plan to build a new Menards store in Parkersburg at some point in the future, but have not yet started construction,” Abbott said. “With all the uncertainty surrounding the (COVID-19) virus these days, no official timeline has been established as to when we might begin construction or open this new store.”

Wood County Compliance Officer Sarah Farnsworth, who handles building permits for the county, said she is still awaiting the building permit application and building permit fee from Menards. The county also is waiting for the company to send in a copy of the West Virginia Contractors License for the people expected to do the work, she added.

Developer Joseph Pope of Pope Properties last briefed the Wood County Commission on the project in November. At the time, he said the project was on track to start construction this spring.

He originally anticipated turning the property over to Menards at the end of February. When that was done, it would be up to the company when it starts construction.

A message left with Pope Properties was not immediately returned.

Emerson Commons is in the Union Williams Public Service District. Officials with the Union Williams PSD said any information about potential service for anyone on the site was private information.

Emerson Commons is in the county’s first tax increment financing district.

The district covers 383 acres on both sides of Interstate 77 at its intersection with West Virginia 2 and encompasses the interchange. The project includes public improvements, including water and sewer extensions and road improvements, which would be paid for out of money generated from businesses on the property.

Wood County Commission President Blair Couch said the county has yet to hear anything officially from the company on when work may start.

“We are excited for construction to begin, the sooner the better,” Couch said.

Contact Brett Dunlap at bdunlap@newsandsentinel.com

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