WHEELING - McKinley and Associates of Wheeling is close to purchasing the former Fort Henry Club building from St. Matthew's Episcopal Church, the architectural firm and church leaders confirmed.
"We have a deal in principle, but the devil is in the details," said the Rev. Mark Seitz of St. Matthew's. "The lawyers have it. Once they get to reading it, we will have a deal."
Ernie Delatorre, president of McKinley and Associates, agreed the firm was "very close" to closing on an agreement to purchase the building.
Photo by Joselyn King
The former Fort Henry Club building, located at 1324 Chapline St. in Wheeling, neighbors the property of St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, its present owner.
"We're looking at it, but the deal is not finalized," he said.
Delatorre said he wasn't certain yet how the building might be utilized if purchased by McKinley.
"We're going to evaluate it," he said. "It could either be used for office space, or we're even evaluating having it as residential space. Most likely, it would be office space."
The Fort Henry Club, located at 1324 Chapline St., closed its doors in September 2011. The neighboring St. Matthew's Episcopal Church then purchased the building from the club in December 2011 for $1. The church has been working with Kennen & Kennen Realtors since that time to find a tenant for the building.
Renovating the historic structure wouldn't be a first for McKinley and Associates in downtown Wheeling. The firm's offices are located within the Maxwell Center it has renovated, located at 32 20th St. It has undertaken similar projects with the Wagner Building at Celoron Plaza, 2001 Main St., and with the Catholic Heritage Center at 2000 Main St.