Clarksburg, WV, officials praise positive impact of Eastpointe developments, hopeful for continuation
CLARKSBURG — Over the past several years, the Eastpointe Shopping Center has seen several projects that brought new businesses and experiences to the area, helping to breathe fresh life into the Clarksburg area.
Clarksburg Code Enforcement Officer Jim Llaneza said the new projects have been a great addition to the area, providing over half a dozen new businesses for patrons to experience.
Of the new lots, “there are only two of those vacant at the present time,” he said.
“It’s been in the works for about two years. The demolition of the old (Sutton Inn) hotel was in 2018,” he said.
Since then, development has been ongoing. And at the present time, the new businesses operating are Shogun, an existing business in a new location; Jersey Mike’s Subs; Penn Station Subs; BurgerIM; TT-Nails; Aspen Dental; Verizon Wireless and Qdoba.
The owner of Shogun, Llaneza said, owns the building that houses both the Japanese restaurant and Jersey Mike’s. And while there is no urgency to fill the two vacant spaces, Llaneza said the owner of Shogun was looking to possibly fill one of the vacancies.
Though the hotel is gone, Llaneza said there is a different kind of impact now thanks to the eating establishments drawing in patrons to try items that may not be available in the area.
“We are trying to fill the other two vacancies. I think that it’s positive (for the community),” he said.
Clarksburg Interim City Manager Annette Wright said she was glad to see the developments going over well with the community.
Wright also mentioned the possibility of Kroger moving from the building it is presently located at in Eastpointe to the vacant structure that once housed Kmart. However, Llaneza said nothing is officially set in stone with what is occurring with Kroger or the building.
“We don’t know what they are going to do yet. … We have little information,” he said.
Despite no concrete direction at this time, Wright said it would be exciting if the national grocery chain would utilize the vacant spot in some way.
Llaneza did confirm that the Eastpointe Walmart is undergoing a major overhaul to better serve its customers.
“They’ve done several of those over the last two to three years. They’ve had two or three projects with Walmart and Sam’s (Club),” he said.
One of the projects being completed is a place for pickup orders.
“That’s a new thing. Kroger did it, and you can call in and have groceries ready. That’s what Walmart has done,” he said.
Llaneza said Walmart is also expanding its food court area, “taking some things out and is going to put some new things in.” He said they’ve also been working on remodeling bathrooms and have a staging area for the grocery pickup orders.
Several other opportunities for the shopping center are in the talking stage, but can’t be discussed at this time, Llaneza said.
Councilman Jim Malfregeot said the businesses that occupy the area are big contributors to the revenue generated from the business and occupation tax, and he’s hopeful to see that increase with the latest additions to the area.
“That’s a huge part of the B&O tax that helps keep the city afloat. We hope we can keep the development going in the future,” he said.
Malfregeot said no matter what time of day you drive to the Walmart parking lot, it is always filled with people, so the overhauls that are going on will help further service those that frequent there.
For the newer businesses not as common in the region that occupy space at Eastpointe, Malfregeot said their corporations conducted feasibility studies, looking at things like traffic, to see if setting up shop here would be worthwhile.
“I’m sure they’ve seen the traffic and being along I-79 that makes a huge difference. Those corporations do their due diligence and (saw) a need. I’m happy they’ve chosen us. I hope we can continue to search out business that want to locate at Eastpointe,” he said.