By Evan Bevins
Parkersburg News and Sentinel
PARKERSBURG, W.Va. – A company with ties to the oil and gas industry has purchased the former Blue Cross Blue Shield headquarters at Seventh and Market streets.
According to a deed filed with the Wood County Clark’s Office Monday, Siltstone Holdings LLC acquired the 111-year-old Union Trust and Deposit Co. building and the parking lot behind it from Highmark West Virginia for $475,000.
The seven-story structure has been vacant since Highmark – then known as Mountain State Blue Cross Blue Shield – moved into its newly built headquarters across the street in the latter half of 2009.
Parkersburg Mayor Bob Newell said city code enforcement and fire officials have been working with Siltstone representatives in recent weeks on the building.
“Their plan is to locate offices there, to begin with,” he said.
Holmes R. “Butch” Shaver, agent with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, said he was contacted by the company four or five months ago.
“They’re very positive about … the area,” he said. “It’s obvious they have a lot of confidence in the area to make the investment they did.”
Representatives of the company could not be reached for comment Monday.
Siltstone Holdings is affiliated with Siltstone Capital, an investment and advisory firm with corporate offices in New York and Houston. According to the company’s website, it invests in the energy sector and “manages private equity funds that conduct buyouts and provide growth capital investments in the exploration and production, oil services, midstream, power and renewable sectors of the energy industry.”
The region is in the midst of a new oil and gas boom as advancements in technology have opened up access to natural resources in the deep-underground Marcellus and Utica shale formations.