UPDATE: Interest in Former Coldwater Creek Facility

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UPDATE 8/29/2014 4:30 PM

It closed earlier this summer.

But there's a lot of interest in the former Coldwater Creek complex near Mineral Wells.

Cam Huffman, Wood County's Development Director, says he's optimistic someone will soon occupy the former catalog retailer's local plant.

Huffman says he's shown the facility to nearly a half dozen prospects he calls "serious", and showed it to another Friday.

The development authority is looking for an owner who can replace the more than three hundred jobs lost when Coldwater shut down, and who has good financial backing.

The company filed for bankruptcy and liquidated earlier this year.

UPDATE 6/30/2014 4:30 PM

The end of the road for Coldwater Creek.

But the road doesn't end there for the employees.

Their main job now is finding another way to make a living.

A lot of mixed emotions Monday as former employees make the first step toward moving on.

Employment at the Mineral Wells site ended Friday.

It's the closing of a chapter in the lives of hundreds who worked at this massive retail space.

Doors were open all morning and afternoon Monday to former employees.

While Coldwater Creek wouldn't let our cameras inside one woman says human resources did a great job answering her questions and helping her with paperwork.

When the employees came out we witnessed a lot of well wishes and hugs, as well as folks saying "I love you" to one another before leaving.

They say the crew they worked with was like a family - one they'll greatly miss.

"Very hard, it's very emotional for everybody, got tears today and stuff like that," says Sally Miller.

"You can't find anybody like I found at this job. And I came here from Colorado. It's sad, but it's time to move on," says Anja Andreasson Gebhart.

The employees are gone but liquidators are still in Mineral Wells.

They're trying to sell anything remaining inside the building.

Coldwater Creek employees were terminated Friday.

The news comes two months after the company filed for bankruptcy.

UPDATE 4/14/2014 6:00 PM

Bankruptcy at Coldwater Creek will affect hundreds of employees and the massive retail space.

Parkersburg Mayor Bob Newell says the warehouse employs an average of 450-people, depending on the season.

Once operations are expected to end next month, those people will be out of work.

But Mayor Newell is confident those jobs will return, by way of a potential new employer.

"As far as distribution, it's in the perfect spot. There have been people, that as I understand have inquired about the building in the past. And I think, not to take away from the loss of jobs right now, but I feel confident that building will fill-up with another company here in the future," he said.

The property is 1,000,000 square feet.

Mayor Newell says along with his office, the county and state development authority are monitoring what's next for the building.

Management is telling customers about the bankruptcy news through a sign they have on the sales floor of the clearance center.

They also say their rewards member program is cancelled and no refunds after May 7th.

Management says that's the latest date they expect to hear again from the corporate office in Idaho about what happens next.

UPDATE 4/11/2014 4:40 PM

Wood County development officials prepared themselves for plan B all week.

Now they know Coldwater Creek will no longer be a business, leaving the Mineral Wells warehouse facility empty.

Right now it's business as usual for the Idaho-based company, as its stores - including the Mineral Wells clearance center and its website - remain open.

But that will change, beginning next month.

The retail chain has spent the past six months considering its options and says it plans to start sales to liquidate inventory in May.

The Wood County Development Authority Friday talked to state officials - including Commerce Secretary Keith Burdette - about what options it has for the Mineral Wells property.

"We've been monitoring this for a little while. We've heard some rumblings about it, but we really didn't have anything to go on until today, to even know how they were filing," says Cam Huffman, President of the Wood County Development Authority.

Huffman notes Coldwater Creek still owns the property, meaning the development authority might have to wait a while before it can market it to potential buyers.

At the same time, when it is up for sale, he says there could be some interest.

Huffman cites the business interest in the area in general, thanks to the already expanding oil and gas drilling industry.

UPDATE 4/11/2014 2:15 PM

SANDPOINT, Idaho (AP) - The women's clothing retailer Coldwater Creek filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after failing to find a potential buyer or a source of capital to help fund its turnaround efforts.

The retail chain said it spent the past six months evaluating its options, but that its declining financial liquidity, tough retail conditions and its inability to find other viable options drove it to file for bankruptcy protection.

Coldwater Creek's stores are still open and selling clothing and other goods to shoppers, as is its website.

The company said Friday that it expects to start sales to liquidate inventory in early May. It plans to hold going out of business sales in the coming months.

Coldwater Creek Inc. is getting $75 million in debtor-in-possession financing from existing lender Wells Fargo to help it wind down its business.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

UPDATE 4/8/2014 4:30 PM

A lot of unknown details surrounding the future of Coldwater Creek.

We first learned of a possible liquidation of assets Monday night.

Now, we're hearing for the first time from local officials.

There are still a lot of unanswered questions as to the future of Coldwater Creek and what it means for Wood County.

And as of right now the company has not yet filed for bankruptcy or officially announced a liquidation of its assets.

The building located in Mineral Wells is owned by the Wood County Development Authority.

We spoke with them Tuesday and they're still waiting to hear further information from the company as well.

Coldwater Creek has not been profitable since 2007 and in 2012, 29 jobs were cut from the Mineral Wells facility.

Parkersburg Mayor Bob Newell says if Coldwater Creek does leave his biggest concern will be those left without a job, and then finding someone else to come in.

"Our development department along with Wood County Development and the West Virginia Development Authority would be looking very quickly to try to find somebody else in the nation to fill it," says Mayor Newell. "It is a viable location and a very nice building."

In July of 2011 Coldwater closed the Mineral Wells call center because of an increase in online sales and last quarter the company's total sales dropped 17 percent.

We also tried to speak with someone from Coldwater Creek.

We did get in touch but they declined to comment as this moment.

Potentially tough news for Wood county.

A national publication points to the liquidation and sell off of Coldwater Creek.

That would affect the distribution center in Mineral Wells.

Here's what we know at this point.

The company has not filed for bankruptcy, although the Bloomberg story cites two sources about plans for bankruptcy and liquidation of the assets. The sources are not named.

WTAP News spoke with Coldwater Creek spokesman Dan Moore.

He says they are aware of the Bloomberg story, but declined to comment further.

The women's clothing company runs a large warehouse and distribution center along I-77 in Mineral Wells.

The Chamber of Commerce tells us the company isn't a member of the Chamber, and it wasn't aware of the story.

Coldwater Creek opened the Mineral Wells location in the late 1990's.

In 2007 it added a clearance center to the warehouse, selling clothing closed out from its catalog.

In July of 2011, Coldwater announced it was closing the Mineral Wells call center, because of an increase in online sales.

Then in June of 2012, the company cut 29 jobs at the facility in Mineral Wells.

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