The increase in state historic tax credits has spurred another development in downtown Wheeling, as work is set to begin on the upper floors of 950 Main Street. The building, which is home to the Bridge Tavern, will soon have offices and apartments on its three upper floors. The perennial Wheeling restaurant, which is located on the first floor of the building, will be unaffected by the proposed renovations.
Brothers, Dave, Mike and Doug Carl, have purchased the property with plans to renovate the second, third and fourth floors, all of which are currently vacant.
“When you pull off the interstate, we want this building to be a landmark when we’re done. Part of creating an inviting downtown is having some first-class historical buildings, and that’s what our plans are for this redevelopment,” Carl said.
Originally, the building’s upper floors were home to the Wheeling Hotel, owned by the Wheeling Traction Company, which ran the streetcars. The first floor, now the Bridge Tavern, was the waiting room to catch the street trolley. The hotel changed ownership multiple times before closing in the 1980s, and the upper floors have been unused since.
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While these floors are in near original condition, they have suffered significant water damage, said Wendy Scatterday, AIA, of Scatterday Architecture, who is coordinating the project.
“This is an extensive rehab, so the tax credit helped to make the deal make sense,” Carl said, adding that he and his brothers have owned the property for nearly two years, but had been hoping for an increase in the tax credit to help make the project work financially.
The tax credit increase from 10 to 25 percent, coupled with current revitalization efforts in downtown Wheeling, have made this the perfect time for this project, he said.
“We want to be a part of this new movement to revitalize downtown Wheeling,” Carl said, adding that he hopes this type of development will help attract and retain young professionals. “With the amount of employees now in the Stone Center as well as The Health Plan, plus all of the other corporate businesses downtown, the timing is right for more housing, as well as more prime office space.”
“There are a lot of people in Wheeling daily who don’t live here right now,” he said. “We want to make it even more inviting and advantageous to not just work here, but to live here too.”