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Demo of former Kanawha Manufacturing to begin as Charleston LIFT Center plans take shape

By Fred Pace, Charleston Gazette-Mail

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Octogenarian Gary Borstein of Charleston says he supports the new Charleston LIFT Center project being developed on the former Kanawha Manufacturing site just across the street from his home in the 1500 block of Dixie Street. But he came to Thursday’s community meeting to get a few questions answered.

“I have some concerns regarding the environmental cleanup and potential traffic nightmares along Dixie Street once they start construction,” the 81-year-old Dixie Street resident said. “That’s a very narrow street. If they are not directed accordingly, and they use Dixie Street, my life is going to be hell for three years. I’ve heard every promise in the world, and I’ve seen a whole bunch of them broken.”

Joseph Thomas also lives on Dixie Street and said he is also worried about traffic.

“I know this project is going to help the community, but how are these large trucks going to come into the site?” he asked.

Thomas, Borstein and other East End residents received answers to all their questions and concerns during a community gathering hosted by the Charleston Area Alliance at East End Community Park. The Alliance and project partners gave an update on the future of the former heavy industrial site.

What is the LIFT Center?

“Not everyone knows what Charleston LIFT Center means,” said Debbie James, the Alliance’s chief financial officer. “LIFT stands for learning, innovation, food and technology.”

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