A new look to business along Parkersburg's Seventh street...
McClinton Chevrolet and imports. Superior Toyota. Astorg Motor Company. Wharton Auto Group. And closer to downtown, Matheny Motors. All renovated or expanded in the past year.
And with most of them located on Seventh street, there's hope their makeovers might bring back to seventh traffic lost due to the opening of Corridor D.
"It makes them want to come down Seventh street and look at the vehicles," says Michael Tucker, Past Chairman, Mid-Ohio Valley Chamber of Commerce. "This construction will put a lot of people to work. It's all positive."
And the mayor even sees benefits for the area beyond what is often referred to as the motor center of Parkersburg.
"And it will have a huge impact," says Mayor Bob Newell. "It will really be one-stop shopping for people looking for new vehicles, not just in the city of Parkersburg, but all around the region."
It's generally agreed that area automobile dealers made it through the worst of the 2007-2009 recession: a time when car manufacturers closed many long-time assembly plants, and ended franchise agreements with local dealers.
No area dealers closed as a result of those actions. And, in the past year, things have been looking up, both nationally and locally. Tucker is president of the West Virginia Central Credit Union, whose services include auto loans.
"I know car sales are up, and people are feeling a little better about the local economy," Tucker says, "and the new dealership locations should help significantly."
A new look, and perhaps a new day for a business vital to the valley.