SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. — South Charleston Mayor Frank Mullens says Chick-fil-a is busy at the new Park Place Shopping Center following its grand opening last week.
Mullens, during an appearance Monday on 580 Live said that Chick-fil-a is the first of several opportunities to come to what is now the 7-year development stages of Park Place along MacCorkle Avenue.
“For years I’ve called it a game-changer and I think it will be. Chick-fil-a, as I said that day of the grand opening, they’re our lead-off hitter down there, a good lead-off hitter, but there’s much more to come,” Mullens said.
Mullens said that Menards, a big box store similar to Lowe’s and Home Depot, will be coming to the shopping center as the anchor store very soon, along with a new Starbucks, and around 20 to 26 other businesses.
In addition, with the increased revenue streams expected to be coming in through the new project, Mullens said that the fact South Charleston is located in a Tax Increment Financing district alone has many monetary benefits.
“Because we’re in a TIF district, the economic impact it’s going to have on our community is going to be tremendous, we’re talking almost a half of a billion dollars over a 30 year period, so those tax dollars that would normally go to the state and general funds, get to stay in our TIF district and be reinvested back into our community, so the financial impact of that in itself is going to be tremendous,” he said.
Mullens said because of the high-traffic location the new shopping center is in, he has no trouble finding tenants to set up business there, but he also focuses on businesses that are more novel to the area.
“We like to have things we don’t have in West Virginia, number one, and that’s going to be our priority, and obviously that’s not going to be 100-percent, but if we could get 60 to 70-percent of the stores, something new down there to our state, that would be wonderful,” he said.
“I think, like Menards, for example, they’ve checked that box, they’re in West Virginia now, but they’re new to our market, so they’ve checked that box, and that’s what we’re trying to bring,” Mullens added.
Construction on the Park Place Shopping Center project is expected to be complete by August of 2025.
Mullens also gave an update Monday on the Jefferson Road project, saying that it’s efficiently coming along.
Mullens said that he’s been told by engineers, the project that they were about 30 to 40-percent complete and that people can expect to start seeing the steel for the new bridge go up by this summer at the Kanawha Turnpike intersection.
Mullens also gave mention to the brand new fire station about to be completed out at Corridor G, the new sub-division being built at Little Creek Golf Course, and the possibility of taking on the Rod Run and Doo Wop annual car show this summer following its cancelation in the City of Charleston, but Mullens said the challenge with that is not having enough space, so it remains to be seen.
However, Mullens said that South Charleston has a lot going on regardless.
“We got a lot of good things going on, I think our future is as bright as it has been in a long, long time, and I’m happy to see it all come to re