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Former glass plant site ready for redevelopment

MOUNDSVILLE, W.Va. -- A former glass factory site in the Northern Panhandle is ready for redevelopment following a cleanup of lead and other contaminants.

GAB Enterprises recently received approval from the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection to begin building on the site of the former Fostoria Glass Co. factory in Moundsville.

Tom Brown, with GAB Enterprises, said the property has drawn interest from several investors. He told The Intelligencer and Wheeling News Register that development plans will be announced later this month.

"We have finally reached a point where the people willing to be tenants on the property or to be a partner in development are able to invest in the property and be free of liability issues that were there," he said.

Residents will likely see more work at the site soon, Brown said, including demolition of a remaining building.

The 8.2-acre site was contaminated with lead, polychlorinated biphenyls and asbestos. The DEP has determined that the levels now are too high for residential use, but the site is considered safe commercial, retail and industrial use.

Areas that remain contaminated will be capped off by concrete or asphalt, likely to create a parking lot, Brown said.

Fostoria Glass began operations in Fostoria, Ohio, on Dec. 15, 1887, because the area was rich with cheap natural gas. But supplies dwindled quickly, and Fostoria moved to Moundsville in 1891 to take advantage of its gas and coal supplies, as well as other glassmaking materials.

Lancaster Colony purchased the company in 1983 but closed it three years later.

The city bought the site several years ago to develop it for retail use, but asbestos was found in five sections of the plant when demolition began. It was put on hold while the site was cleaned up.


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