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“It should be a destination”: Officials and business owners hope new commission will elevate Centre Market


WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) – How about spending a relaxing day strolling through shops for unique finds and grabbing a locally made bite to eat? Sounds fun, right?

That’s the type of destination that Centre Market hopes to grow into for more and more visitors. And now, the revived Centre Market Commission is in a unique position to help make that happen. 

It should be a destination.

Rosemary Ketchum, Wheeling City Council Ward 3

Centre Market should be more than a place to hurry and find a parking space, pick up lunch, then leave. Ask business owners, city officials and others and they’ll tell you the area should be a spot that attracts locals and out of towners a like. 

I want to see folks down here all the time. This should be our Times Square and I think with the Centre Market Commission we can make that happen.

Rosemary Ketchum, Wheeling City Council Ward 3

The City of Wheeling feels now is the time to revive the Centre Market Commission to support current Manager Kurt Zende as more people are out and about. It will also ensure a focused vision for the area.

Ketchum explained that the Centre Market Commission originally existed about 20 years ago, but functioned in a much different way than the plans for its current future. It was more of a legislative body, but eventually phased out.

Now, the City of Wheeling sees it as a body to oversee the vision for Centre Market moving forward.

 The reinstatement of the commission is actually exemplary of the great work that’s being done, so much so that we need more support to keep up the energy and momentum.

Rosemary Ketchum, Wheeling City Council Ward 3

Business owners agree. Many of them have already been meeting informally for several years to work towards a unified vision for Centre Market and attract more visitors. 

The problem that we have is that we have all these great ideas, but then we all go back to running our own businesses and we lose that momentum.

Amy Cordy, Owner, V.C. Wares

This group of business owners and Ketchum have visions that are on the same path and include beautification, better lighting, Instagram-worthy public art, and a more welcoming environment.

Night life is really important. We need tables and chairs and music down here. All these things are possible, but not without the buy-in of the city and the folks here working at the market.

Rosemary Ketchum, Wheeling City Council Ward 3

The seven-member commission was reinstated at the last City Council meeting, and members will be appointed soon by Mayor Glenn Elliott.

What we’re hoping for is a representation from different agencies that have had our back for years; Wheeling Heritage, CVB, RED the Economic Development and now our Councilwoman Rosemary Ketchum and the City, and so it’s basically a way for us to have these agencies and some business owners come together.

Amy Cordy, Owner, V.C. Wares

There will be five who live in Wheeling and two who reside anywhere. Ketchum said if someone is interested or has a recommendation, reach out to the Mayor.

It is amazing when you stop and look around at all the local businesses that are in this area and what they offer, and we have visitors that come from all over. Pittsburgh a lot, but people that come to Oglebay and then end up in Centre Market and they love this area.

Amy Cordy, Owner, V.C. Wares

Business owners also hope the Commission will help plan more events for the public to enjoy, like Centre Market Sundays. The next one is coming up on July 18th from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Several shops will be open with live music. Find all the information on the fun here.

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