FAIRMONT, W.Va. — The Council of the City of Fairmont will be introducing an ordinance to obtain ownership of the former Fairmont Box Factory, 12th Street Ext., through eminent domain at its Oct. 24 council meeting.
After several months of unsuccessful negotiations with the property owner, the City of Fairmont is now seeking to obtain it through eminent domain.
If Council approves the ordinance, the City plans to demolish the building and redevelop the property for a new city park with a trail head and amenities for the upcoming West Fork River Trail Extension. This acquisition is to be funded through TIF dollars. The proposed trail is approximately 2.5 miles stretching from the Norway Trestle near Edgeway Drive to 12th Street. The project has had substantial development in the past year. The City has acquired easements and property from Industrial Resources and CSX. The West Fork River Trail Extension is part of the larger Parkersburg to Pittsburg (P2P) corridor and the Industrial Heartlands Trail Corridor. The City of Fairmont is one of only four gaps remaining in the state of West Virginia.
On July 25, 2023, Fairmont City Council expressed approval of the Beltline District Brownfield Redevelopment Plan. The redevelopment plan focuses on public health data and needs to inform redevelopment and investment from the City of Fairmont to improve health outcomes for the Beltline Neighborhood. This plan included placing new park and recreation facilities in the vicinity of the Fairmont Box Factory.
The demolition of the former factory building will provide for the abatement of a dilapidated and vacant structure and provide improvements to the public health and safety.
The “Fairmont Box Factory” was originally constructed between 1918 and 1919 by the Monongah Glass Company as a new state of the art glass making and warehousing facility. In 1928, Monongah Glass Company was purchased by Hocking Glass Company. By 1933, the plant was permanently closed. In 1936 the property was purchased at public auction by the Fairmont Box Company. The Fairmont Box Factory operated at this location until the early 1980’s. Following the closure of factory operations, the property went through a series of owners becoming derelict. The current owner purchased the property at tax sale in 2010.