The Parkersburg marketplace hopes soon to be overflowing with pumpkins, gourds and mums like the Capitol Market's fall stock in Charleston.
Parkersburg Mayor Bob Newell visited the Capitol Market Wednesday with West Virginia Commissioner of Agriculture Walt Helmick to discuss the new Point Park Marketplace in Parkersburg and gain inspiration from a successful market.
"They do a great job here," Newell said. "We came down here seven or eight years ago when we started our small market to take a look at what they had here and what they're doing."
Parkersburg has been operating its market out of a 20-by-80-foot tent on Tuesdays and Fridays. Operators also bring out 10-by-10-foot tents for additional space, and they have built restrooms on the ground.
But come October, Parkersburg will have an expanded marketplace with indoor and outdoor spaces. Point Park Marketplace is located at the entrance to the newly constructed $12 million riverfront park at the confluence of the Little Kanawha and Ohio rivers.
Historically, the property had been a hotel and soda water bottling factory from the 1880s to the mid 1890s. Most recently, the property was used as an office space for a local nonprofit and children's adventure facility.
Parkersburg acquired the building for $10,000 in a trade, and they plan to have a bakery, a bicycle shop and 10-by-10-foot spaces inside for lease. In addition to the shelter, the plan is to have an outdoor market area, a large parking area and opportunities for local school children.
Newell also hopes to secure an outdoor cafe that will overlook the Ohio River.
"In fact, the sunset will be right there, so the view will be great," he said. The food service/bar area will be similar to the Capitol Market's Soho's.
Helmick said this will be yet another venue for West Virginians to sell goods.
"We want to promote this market's growers by allowing another venue for them to sell their products, which will help the Charleston market and the Parkersburg market," he said. "They will grow more in West Virginia, and we'll have another market for the growers."