Site Being Revitalized

MOUNDSVILLE – Emphasizing Marshall County is the epicenter of the Marcellus and Utica shale rush, Tom Brown and James Tomlinson believe the site of the former Fostoria Glass Co. along First Street is the prime location for new retail, commercial or industrial development.

“Work is now ongoing to demolish the last structure. We are going to have about 9 acres of ground for development,” Brown said. “When people turn up to Grand Vue Park, this is what they see. It will no longer be an eyesore when we are done.”

Brown and Tomlinson are co-owners of GAB Enterprises, doing business as Vinmar Partners. This firm owns the Fostoria property, according to Brown, who also serves the separate role as president of the Raze International construction firm. He said GAB formed a few years ago when he and Louis Aulenbacher joined forces with Fostoria property developer Harold Games. Games and Aulenbacher recently sold their portions of the GAB company to Tomlinson.

“We are going to do the best thing we can to help build the tax base for this community,” Tomlinson said.

“We’ve got interest from several hotel chains. Because Moundsville is the epicenter of the Marcellus and Utica shale, we’ve had some interest from oil and gas companies,” Brown said, though declining to identify specific companies.

The Fostoria plant once employed nearly 1,000 workers at its height of business, but the facility produced its last piece of glassware when it closed in 1986. The large buildings were vacant for several years before the Moundsville Economic Development Council and the city of Moundsville joined forces in 2000 in an effort to raze the structures.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Fostoria land qualified for a $200,000 Brownfields cleanup grant in 2009.

EPA information said the soil and buildings at the Fostoria site at the time were contaminated with arsenic, metals and inorganic contaminants.

“The site is now cleaned up to industrial standards. Raze completed the demolition and environmental cleanup,” Brown said.

Brown said once the final structure is demolished and removed, contractors will begin filling the property with approximately 200,000 cubic yards of dirt.

This, he said, will allow the land to reach an even level with First Street. Workers will also remove the fence surrounding the property.

“The dirt is coming from Proctor – it has been tested for any contaminants. To comply with the EPA, the dirt must be a very clean material with no contamination,” Brown said.

To complete this fill, Brown said as many as 30 trucks per day would carry dirt to the site as early as Monday. He said he and Tomlinson would work with city officials to ensure there are as few traffic problems as possible.

“This is a temporary inconvenience in exchange for a long-term benefit,” Brown said.