Businesses Blooming

Three new eateries are expected to open this summer at The Highlands.

Ohio County Development Authority members learned Tuesday that work on Building 2, located near the Wal-Mart entrance, is progressing.

Two of the structure’s future tenants, Wings to Go and Fusion Japanese Steakhouse, plan to open by mid-July or early August.

It was also noted walls for a new Quaker Steak and Lube will be going up this week and the restaurant aims to open in August. It is located in front of Cabela’s.

Site work on a future Sheetz gas station near Cabela’s at The Highlands also is expected to begin later this week.

Actual construction is expected to begin in about two weeks. Sheetz purchased its lot from the development authority.

The authority also conducted a closed-door session for consideration of tenant and property transactions, but no related action was taken during the open meeting.

Meanwhile, Greg Stewart, authority secretary and treasurer, said he expects the authority’s new Web site to be ready next month. It is being designed by Wheeling Park High School students who also will maintain the site. There currently is a Highlands presence on the web, but Stewart noted in the past that the county does not own that Web site. Attempts to contact the person who maintains that site have been unsuccessful.

“Our timing was good. They have two students who are in a national competition for Web design who will be working on this project,” Stewart said without identifying either student.

Each authority member also will be given an e-mail address and will be able to access some information not yet meant for public consumption, Stewart noted.

Some meeting minutes also will be posted, he added.

Also, work on the future Straub car dealership lot continues. Stewart noted additional dirt has been placed on the area where the actual building will sit.

“That pile of dirt is actually heavier than the building that will sit there,” Stewart said, noting as a precaution the extra dirt will “squeeze out any potential settlement.”

The future Straub lot is situated near The Highlands, across Interstate 70. Another dealership, Bob Robinson, already has relocated from the downtown to The Highlands area.

In other matters, mitigation work on Middle Wheeling Creek is expected to be completed in June, Stewart said. The mitigation must be completed before earthwork related to a planned Wild Escape theme park begins.

David Sims, authority member and Ohio County commissioner, said he believes Wild Escape President Steve Minard currently is working on engineering plans related to the park. All the necessary federal and state permits are in place to allow the project to go forward.

Minard said previously that it would be “several months” before any work would begin. Minard is expected to bid out and pay for the earthwork, which will involve filling in a portion of Storch’s Run.

Minard could not be reached Tuesday evening for additional comment.