A new commercial building is sprucing up the entrance to town
A striking new building has gone up next to Sheetz on University Avenue over the past few months. Dubbed “The Deck,” the building transforms a long-empty gravel lot at the southern gateway to downtown into 15,000 square feet of retail and office space.
It’s a project of Hardy World—that’s the real estate development company of Joseph A. Hardy, founder of 84 Lumber and Nemacolin Woodlands Resort—and local developers Shawn Fortney and HF LLC.
“Mr. Hardy has been in southwestern Pennsylvania for a long time, so he’s very familiar with the area and he loves doing things locally,” says Logan Williams, director of lease negotiation for Hardy World. “The project was presented to us, and Mr. Hardy liked the land and the idea of bringing something new to downtown Morgantown.”
The Deck fronts University Avenue with the potential for up to four storefronts at ground level. The higher Chestnut Street side will be accessed through second-level entrances and is envisioned as office space. Both sides offer parking, and vehicles will enter the property from the cross-streets only—Kirkland and Moreland.
Starbucks signed on early as a tenant. In order to allow drive-through customers to line up without backing traffic up on the streets, the design will direct cars to enter on Kirk Street, near Sheetz, and drive around the Chestnut Street side of the building to approach the retail window on the Moreland Street side. No new traffic regulation is planned.
Another early sign-on is Big Daddy Guns, a Florida-based online vendor with a growing brick-and-mortar presence.
For additional tenants, Williams says they’re looking at national restaurants and retailers as well as services like hair salons, dental offices, yoga studios, and gyms.
As for when shops at The Deck might open, Williams expects the shell of the building to be done and spaces ready to be turned over to tenants for build-out by June 2022. Starbucks will likely be open quickly, he says, and other shops and restaurants could begin opening by late summer or fall.
“We’re excited to be in the Morgantown market,” Williams says. “Everyone’s been great to work with, so hopefully we can do more there in the future.”
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