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Dow sprucing up its streetscape

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Hoping to give visitors a more visually appealing entrance to South Charleston, The Dow Chemical Corp. is working to spruce up the appearance of its streetscape along MacCorkle Avenue.

Dow vice president and South Charleston site director Tyler London said the company has begun work on cleaning up its streetscape in the city.

The first portion of the work included tearing down a fence street near the east entrance to town in front of the Sparkle Klean facility. The company has also put up an electronic sign at its main entrance that flashes the Dow logo and company messages.

London said visual changes are the first phase of a long-term plan to beautify company lands, which line a significant portion of MacCorkle Avenue in South Charleston.

"What we're going to try to do in the long term is to really try to improve the aesthetics in the area," London said.

"Our long-term plans are to try to make it look like it appears in front of our administrative facilities in South Charleston — nice landscaping, some hills and trees and that sort of thing," he said.

London discussed the changes with members of the South Charleston Economic Development Authority Tuesday.

Mayor Frank Mullens said he welcomed the company's efforts. He said he and other officials have also been looking into plans to revamp the city's east entrance.

"I've always had this vision to try to beautify the entryway to the city," Mullens said. "But boy, that's a tough area to try to do. You've got the railroad track on the one side and the plant on the other."

London said Dow would be open to leasing or selling off some of the lands it's not using along MacCorkle Avenue to either locate new businesses or make room for new city greenspace.

Mullens said he particularly would like to have more greenspace at the east end of town near the Patrick Street bridge. He said the goal is to beautify the area with more trees or shrubbery to make a more appealing entryway to the city.

He said city leaders have already taken down some fencing along MacCorkle Avenue near the Wendy's restaurant to make room for additional landscaping.

"I'd like to replace what was once old rusty fence with no top rail, with some kind of greenery and shrubbery to beautify those areas of the city and make us look more attractive," Mullens said.

"It's those little simple, cosmetic things go a long way when you're trying to sell your city," he said. "We need to do a lot more of that in our city."

London said Dow would support the city's efforts in any way it could.

"We absolutely want to be the best community partner that we can," he said. "Trying to make (the plant) aesthetically pleasing, trying to make sure we in no way shape or form cause a nuisance to the neighbors is an important thing for us to deliver."

Contact writer Jared Hunt at or 304-348-4836.


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