Community · Downtown · High St. · Money · Morgantown · Organic · Uncategorized · West Virginia University

Save the Downtown District

As many people know, West Virginia University just seems to be growing and growing with new housing and little history left. As you may have read earlier, Sunnyside has lost some of its touch. Will the Downtown District be next?

In 2010, WVU purchased a well-known business building in the DowntowIMG_6427n area where Morgantown People Co-op was originally settled. In March 2015, it was time for them to move to a new location due to the building being unsalvageable.

Ashley Keane, General Manager of Morgantown People Co-op, was already looking for new real estate to expand. Keane did wish to keep that place, but knew with the roof collapsing and parking such an issue it was time to move.

“I was already looking at real estate for a couple years now,” said Keane. “We were originally looking for a larger location and the old location would be a small satellite Downtown, but our plans had to change a little bit.”

Screen Shot 2016-04-15 at 10.27.56 AM.pngThe plan for the old building is to be demolished and than repaired, but nothing has been done to the building yet. From what Keane knows or has heard of is that the University has purchased the whole block of Chestnut Street and Reid Street to Fayette Street.

What will go there next?

That has not been made clear but Keane hopes to see more green space for Downtown, but knows that is a slim to none chance of that happening.

Keane was born and raised in Morgantown and though she hardly recognized her home neighborhood, the Downtown district is what she still remembers as a kid. Local businesses thriving and the community coming together she hopes to not see the University take away what is left.

“Suncrest is completely different…I don’t even consider it to be my home neighborhood anymore,” said Keane. “ The one place that still has a lot of what I remember as a kid is the downtown district, and that is comforting.”

Though Sunnyside looks a lot cleaner and safer, downtown is what many people attract to. From bars, restaurants, club, and any more, hopefully a franchise business stays away and lets the locals live in their uniqueness.

Morgantown People Co-op is now on Pleasant Street they have easy accessible parking and the building is beautiful. Many customers were glad to see the move and always envisioned the co-op to look the way it is today.






7 thoughts on “Save the Downtown District

  1. Hearing that the University is buying chunks of downtown felt ominous to me. They’re going to ruin this city until it is completely unrecognizable. For some, it already is. As you pointed out in your opening, they’re just developing and developing without regard to history. This is sad. It’s good that the Co-op’s move was good for them, though. It’s such a great place to get organic groceries, and it’s conveniently downtown. Hopefully that stays that way.


  2. Except for a few food establishments, downtown is mostly bars, vape shops, and porno stores. Once again the local small business community had a captive audience (college students – many without cars) and they exploited them for everything they could for decades. Now, WVU is bringing in something called “competition,” and just like the slumlords in the housing markets the small business owners won’t compete. They would rather cry about not having the college students at the end of a loaded gun (figuratively). Once again I have no sympathy for any of them. Downtown is dirty and nasty, especially after a full night of drunken revelry.


  3. There is so much missed opportunity in the downtown area! I’ve dealt with downtown business owners on multiple occasions and often find myself dealing with gross unprofessionalism and down right, unfriendly people. While some longtime businesses are great, many of the shops in existence are poorly run and not living up to their full potential. Downtown has the potential to be a hub of quaint shops, restaurants and bars that serves more than just the student population. We just need the right people to take advantage of these open storefronts. I’m hopeful though, that WISE local entrepreneurs have the initiative to make a difference in the High St. corridor to preserve the culture of Morgantown.


  4. This is a question on a lot of people’s minds. I really enjoy going downtown and seeing all the local shops and food options. It will be a shame if the University starts to take over downtown too.

    Also, important note: It’s called Mountain People’s Co-Op, not Morgantown People 🙂


  5. I think that the university is completely out of control and it seems like nothing can stand in its way. I heard that Morgantown wanted to “redo” or re-structure downtown after downtown Cleveland Ohio but it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen. Soon all Morgantown will be is student housing and bars and clubs geared toward students and it will completely shut out the residents who are not students and live here year round. It’s really sad to see and although I hope it doesn’t happen, I know it will. I also agree that it would be great to see more “green” business catering to that lifestyle but I don’t see that happening either. It really sucks!


  6. I agree with Ashley, hearing about the University buying up so much of the city unsettles me. I feel like Morgantown has so much potential to be a really cool place to live, but if the university continues to push its influence, it’ll become nothing more than the university itself.


  7. I think that it is one thing to do Sunnyside and fix that because a lot of the houses were just ready to collapse any minute. On the other hand, I don’t see that happening downtown so I don’t see why they are trying to purchase. I just hope that whatever they decide to do it isn’t more housing because we have plenty of that now and as you have probably heard the apartment complexes aren’t even close to being full.


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