WVU to purchase Suncrest Plaza
Published: Thursday, July 26, 2012
Updated: Thursday, July 26, 2012 09:07
Once again, West Virginia University will be expanding its facilities, thanks to the approval of a resolution by the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission.
WVU and WVU Hospitals recently gained approval to purchase Suncrest Plaza, a 5.5 acre business park near Evansdale, for $26.4 million. Due to the site’s proximity to the Evansdale and Health Sciences campuses, WVU officials plan to utilize the 10,000 square feet of free office space on the property.
The property is located across the street from Mountaineer Station on Van Voorhis Road.
Included in the purchase is a 440-car parking garage.
WVU and WVUH are splitting the income, costs and benefits of the acquisition equally and are evaluating the site as an expansion space for the WVU School of Dentistry, according to the HEPC.
The current tenants of the property, including Applebee’s Restaurant, will not be ousted from the property. Instead, their rent will be used to help fund the purchase rather than federal money or tuition revenue.
Although University officials laud the strategic importance of the purchase, Morgantown officials fear the loss of several hundred thousand dollars in tax revenue from the site.
WVU is exempt from business and occupation taxes, meaning the city could lose tax revenue while police and fire services will still cover the site.
Glenmark Holding LLC., the previous owner of the plaza, paid $282,000 in property taxes last year.
The average costs of leasing is about $24-27 per square foot, and operating costs of the site average $240,000. The site made $1.9 million in revenue from leases and other sources last year.