WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) Mayor Glenn Elliott says when the West Virginia Council for Community & Technical College Education said no to Bluefield State’s plan to locate a branch campus in Wheeling, it didn’t come as a shock or a bitter disappointment.
“First of all, we knew there was a good chance that the state would say no,” Elliott noted. “And Bluefield State was never central to our plans for the property.”
But a year ago, when the City entered into a memorandum of understanding with the college, it looked as though the former hospital buildings had an uncertain future.
Now, that has changed dramatically.
The mayor revealed that “multiple parties are proposing to acquire the entirety of the campus, and these are very serious offers.”
He said they want to purchase—not rent or lease—the property.
“This is 800,000 square feet of space,” he said. “We’d like to see it filled with employees who would go out to the restaurants and be a vital part of this community.”
He said the City’s goal was never to be in the landlord business.
He said it remains to be seen whether one entity will acquire the whole thing, or if several will each take a parcel.
“Our hope is, by the end of the summer, to have a couple of formal proposals for the city council to consider,” Elliott said.