Area's Real Estate Market Enjoying Upswing

Though commercial real estate may be suffering a downturn nationally, the market in the New River Gorge region and southern West Virginia is experiencing an upswing, according to a regional expert in commercial real estate development.
Expressway access, population density, and a high quality of life are among the factors that have led to this progression, especially where office, warehousing, and light manufacturing space is concerned, according to Scott Worley, a commercial agent and economic development official in Beckley, WV.

"Unlike the national trend, which shows commercial real estate in a downturn, southern West Virginia is trending just the opposite," Worley explained in a March 2010 interview. "Our challenge is finding enough suitable property, or inventory, to fill all of the demand."

"The commercial real estate market in southern West Virginia is challenging, but in a good way."
Storefronts in historic downtown Beckley adapted for new commercial uses.
The 2009 purchase of 10,600 acres adjoining the New River Gorge by the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) to serve as as a national scouting reserve and the new permanent home of the National Boy Scout Jamboree is a remarkable indicator of this trend, according to Worley. 

"Fueling the demand is the fact that more regional and national companies are drawn to southern West Virginia by our network of roads and by the population density of the service area, which now numbers upwards of 200,000," he said.

"On top of these factors, our region offers a very desirable quality of life."

The presence of national park lands, including the New River Gorge National River, and the dissolution of manufacturing and extractive industries that once powered the local economy are among the forces that have led to the increase in life quality.

The availability of high-quality historic structures relinquished by previous downturns are also providing singular opportunities for commercial investment, Worley advised. 

"In order to meet this need a number of investors have turned to some of our numerous downtown historic districts and have started practicing adaptive reuse, converting older retail and outdated office suites into highly desirable business headquarters."

Historic districts in Ansted, Hinton, Beckley, Mount Hope, Fayetteville, Lewisburg, and White Sulphur Springs are among those in the New River Gorge region that have attracted development and speculation in commercial real estate, according to Worley. 

For more information regarding land, homes, and commercial properties in the New River Gorge region visit our real estate section.

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