Chase Bank closing downtown Wheeling location


The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register

WHEELING, W.Va.  — JPMorgan Chase & Co. will close its downtown Wheeling branch on Aug. 3.

However, Jay Goodman of Harvey Goodman Realtor and Wheeling Mayor Glenn Elliott believe the 50,000-square-foot building in the 1100 block of Market Street has a lot of potential as a “move-in ready” office space — an amenity both said is lacking in the downtown area.

“It has a great location,” Elliott said. “There is not a lot of top-notch office space available in downtown Wheeling. The demand is there.”

JPMorgan spokeswoman Christine Holevas said the company is consolidating its downtown Wheeling operation into the branch located on Bae Mar Place in the city’s Woodsdale area. She said both an expiring lease and a decline in customer traffic led to the decision to leave the Market Street office.

“The consolidation initiative, focused on right-sizing our network, has been occurring for a couple of years and will continue in 2017. Employees from the branch will be assigned to our other branches,” she said.

Holevas said moves toward online banking are reducing some of the demand for branch offices.

“We know our customers like going to the branch and talking with their banker. We love that, too, because we want to help our customers; however, customers don’t need the branch as much for depositing checks, getting cash or moving money around. They can do it themselves whenever they want through our online and mobile access points,” she said.

Although Elliott does not want to see the building vacant — especially as the new headquarters of The Health Plan is set to open directly across Market Street before the end of the year — he believes the site has plenty of potential.

“A lot of people want office space they can move right into,” he said. “This seems to fit with that.”

According to the Ohio County Public Library, the Chase Bank building now marks the site where the James Velas State Theater once stood.

Goodman said the current structure was built in the 1950s, but has experienced multiple updates and upgrades through the years.

“It’s one of my main properties now,” Goodman said, recognizing the New York-based owners are hoping to lease the building.

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