Opinion

Developer’s vision boosted Clarksburg economy

An editorial from The Exponent Telegram

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — Those with vision of business developments often find it difficult for others to see what they see.

That definitely could be said of the late James D. LaRosa, who took two plots of land, abandoned after being stripped of coal reserves, and turned them into two of the gems of North Central West Virginia.

The first is the retail complex known as Eastpointe and New Pointe shopping centers.

Those who have called the area home for the past 35 or more years can remember when the stretch of land was just hayfields and hillsides.

But as former Clarksburg City Manager Patsy Trecost Sr., remembers, LaRosa said, “You’d be surprised what a dozer will do.”

Indeed.

The complex, now home to retail anchors Kohl’s, Kroger, Lowe’s, Kmart and Walmart, as well as dozens of other shops, is one of the premier shopping areas in the state.

And as current and former officials told us, LaRosa’s dream has been a major boon for Clarksburg, generating seven-digit figures in terms of business and occupancy tax collections.

“I would shudder to think what Clarksburg would be without his vision and investment in our community,” former councilman Jim Hunt told Staff Writer Roger Adkins. “He went out of his way to include the city in his development plans.”

Added longtime city Finance Director Frank Ferrari: “(The retail complex has) basically been a savior for Clarksburg. If we didn’t have that income generated on an annual basis, the makeup of the city would be very different.”

LaRosa’s other major dream was an old stripped out area along Meadowbrook Road…

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