Wheeling National Heritage Area Foundation Funds Development Firm for Wheeling Gateway Project
WHEELING, W.Va. – July 13, 2023 – The Wheeling National Heritage Area Foundation announced that it will fund the development firm for the future Wheeling Gateway Project, a major investment aimed at creating a vibrant and welcoming entrance along the I-70 corridor approaching the city. This includes remediation and demolition of the former Wheeling Inn, and redevelopment strategies and capital structuring for the Wheeling Gateway Center.
The Wheeling National Heritage Area Corporation (WNHAC), the entity of Wheeling Heritage has entered into a contract in partnership with the Wheeling Ohio-County Convention and Visitors Bureau (Wheeling CVB), the owner of the property, with real estate developer Tipping Point to advance the Wheeling Gateway Project.
The WNHAC works to conserve, interpret, and promote the Wheeling National Heritage Area, to achieve economic development in the historic downtown and riverfront area, and to promote the education and general welfare of the people as well as to acquire and preserve historically significant structures.
This piece of the Wheeling Gateway Project is generously funded by the Wheeling National Heritage Area Foundation, in part by a donation from the Mary Paull Riley Foundation.
Tipping Point is familiar with Wheeling and is currently active on several local projects. They are the current developer of the 1400 Block of Market Street, and working with Wheeling Heritage’s Blue Church, and involved with the Clay School redevelopment proposal.
“Today is a very exciting day for the future of this important site in our National Heritage Area,” said Scott Schenerlein, executive director for Wheeling Heritage. “We are taking the first steps to bring about the long-awaited visitors center and heritage center which will provide a beautiful entrance to the City of Wheeling. Working with our partners at the Wheeling CVB and Regional Economic Development Partnership, we will be fulfilling a piece of Wheeling Heritage’s management plan, which seeks to improve the visitors experience, provide interpretation, and encourage resource preservation.”
The scope of work will first focus on coordinating and executing the necessary steps for cost-effective site recon, then remediation and demolition of the former Wheeling Inn. This will lay the foundation for a full redevelopment plan. Once the remediation and demolition process are underway, Tipping Point will include a scope of exercises that would lead to full redevelopment scenarios with a financial model that would support long term financial stability.
“Together with all of our partners, we have a one-time opportunity to create a new, welcoming place for Wheeling residents and visitors,” said Frank O’Brien, executive director of the Wheeling-Ohio County Convention and Visitors Bureau. “We can do the project right from the start thanks to Wheeling Heritage’s hiring of Tipping Point.”
Within this project, it is vital to consider the location of other buildings and historic structures near the site. Before demolishing the building, it is of the utmost importance to ensure that the soil it sits on, the retaining wall behind the building and the proximity of the bridge are all analyzed.
Executing the project will come in two phases. The first phase will include a site, structure, and environmental analysis. Once this is complete, the engineering and design for demolition drawing bids will begin along with gathering any permits necessary. Tipping Point will handle the bidding and hiring process for abatement and demolition of the former Wheeling Inn. Phase two will work on the development of the future visitor center and heritage center, part of the Wheeling Gateway Center. Community data will be collected to assist in future planning and establish market reports. This will lead to site plans with conceptual drawings.
“The Wheeling Gateway Project will become one of the most visible buildings along the riverfront and I-70 corridor as you approach the City of Wheeling. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to collaborate with the Wheeling National Heritage Area Foundation, Wheeling-Ohio County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Regional Economic Development Partnership and the City of Wheeling to shape a development that inspires, uplifts, and will leave a positive legacy for many generations to come,” said Jim Ambrose, President of Tipping Point.