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Former pottery and glass plants in Northern Panhandle undergoing redevelopment

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MOUNDSVILLE, West Virginia — A former glass plant and an old pottery plant in the Northern Panhandle are being redeveloped for new uses and are drawing interest from companies.

Contractors have completed demolishing the former Fostoria Glass Co. plant in Moundsville. The property is now owned by GAB Enterprises, doing business as Vinmar Partners.

The next step will be to truck in about 200,000 cubic yards of contaminant-free soil to complete a fill project, GAB Enterprises co-owner Tom Brown told The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register (http://bit.ly/1pS8w3T ).

"Just in the past week, we've had two energy companies reach out to us about building at the site," Brown said told the newspaper. "We're on the cusp of something great."

He declined to identify the companies.

The site qualified for a $200,000 brownfields cleanup grant from the Environmental Protection Agency in 2009. At the time, the soil and buildings were contaminated with arsenic, metals and inorganic contaminants, EPA records show.

All of the contaminated material has been removed, Brown said.

In Chester, efforts are underway to clean up the former Taylor, Smith and Taylor Pottery site.

The Business Development Corporation of the Northern Panhandle, which acquired the property in 2011, recently received a grant to help develop a master plan for the site. The plan will be prepared by the West Virginia University Department of Landscape Architecture. It is expected to be completed in three months, Executive Director Patrick Ford told WTOV-TV (http://bit.ly/1rCX3ol ).

Three companies have shown interest in the site because of its proximity to the Ohio River.

"What's interesting about these particular prospects that are different from the prospects before is these three prospects are actually interested in the riverfront, having access to the riverfront or see the riverfront being used for aesthetic purpose or recreational use," Ford said.

He said the project initially focused on cleaning up the land and making it marketable. The next step will be cleaning up the riverfront.

Assessing and removing contaminants could take six to eight months, he said.

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