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New DHHR Location Will Be Operating in July

June 22, 2013

WHEELING — The first floor of a former car dealership is expected to be occupied by local West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources workers in July....

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(15)

atoddh

Jun-22-13 1:25 PM

Was there any bidding for the DHHR location?

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Ragnar

Jun-22-13 6:57 PM

NO.

Now, the current DHHR lease at 407 Market Street is for $161,000 per year for 17,881 square feet, or $9 per sq. ft./yr.

The new building cost the owner $650,000. Assuming that the new lease is the same cost per sq. ft. as the old lease, this means 28,000 sq. ft. for $252,000 per year. Subtracting $30,000 for taxes, insurance, etc. this will provide the owner with an annual return of 34%.

Nice return, if you are Bernie Madoff or a politically connected character in the "city" of Wheeling.

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Ragnar

Jun-22-13 7:00 PM

Note that this is 34% renting only the first floor. Taking the building upgrades into account and assuming the same rent for half the remaining space, the owner may be looking at an annual return of more than 60%.

I am just guessing, of course. The return could be slightly smaller or much higher, depending on how much of his own money the owner invested.

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UNCOMMONSENSE

Jun-22-13 8:29 PM

16 street has now became the one stop shopping center for welfare and SSI sponges

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daWraith

Jun-22-13 10:18 PM

Why does the state even HAVE an office of "Health and human resources"??

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atoddh

Jun-23-13 8:17 AM

Mr. Ferns almost certainly had the lease arranged with DHHR before he purchased the building. How did this happen with out bidding??(The County needed to sell the building to facilitate Highlands development with Robinson.) This needs to be investigated. Ferns is politically connected in WV. The lease should have been bid out.

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wvhoopie2

Jun-23-13 12:25 PM

With all the comments below maybe this paper should do a research story to see is there was any inside dealings that were not on the up and up. Maybe they might find things like they found out in Pittsburgh concerning the mayor, police chief and others not named at this time. The money being spent is taxpayer money for leases and should be spent according to state law.

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wvhoopie2

Jun-23-13 12:31 PM

The cost of the lease should be public information so a simple FOIA request would get a lot of information for paper to give to their reader so they can see how government works and if money is being spent wisely.

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atoddh

Jun-23-13 2:20 PM

hoopie: yes this lease looks very much like an inside deal at public expense. Mr. Understand a long term lease form the Sate would be viewed as a n asset to borrow against: a gift. This opportunity should have been offered publically. I suspect the County was involved as they needed to sell the Robinson building-and Straub- to facilitate the car dealers going to Highlands. Ferns would have insider information about the DHHR through his son.

I will assure you Ferns would not buy the building without an income stream in place(from the State.)The car dealer thing was a smoke screen for an insider deal.

This probably would be better investigated by the Charleston Press as it is a State issue.

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atoddh

Jun-23-13 2:23 PM

Folks: understand once one(Ferns) has an income stream in place(from the State), one can borrow against this to purchase and renovate a property to suit. The key is a long term lease. In this case bidding should have occurred for the best possible rate for taxpayers; as with any other purchase.

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atoddh

Jun-23-13 4:42 PM

This looks like an arrangement with the County, State and Ferns and son at the expense of the public: with no bidding. This is the problem in WV.

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atoddh

Jun-23-13 4:49 PM

The DHHR is already in trouble for insider dealing. This may be more.

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atoddh

Jun-23-13 4:49 PM

The DHHR is already in trouble for insider dealing. This may be more.

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atoddh

Jun-23-13 5:05 PM

The space needs to be put out on bid now after one year on 16th.

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atoddh

Jun-24-13 11:15 PM

How did Ferns end up with the lease. Was it offered to others? Was there bids for specified space? A long term government lease(contract) is a huge asset. It should be bid on.

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