MORGANTOWN — One of the many ways West Virginia University pursues its landgrant mission to help make lives better in the state is through an aggressive program called the Northern West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center, a project that helps communities revitalize blighted abandoned properties for new uses that lead to positive economic development. As communities across West Virginia strive to revitalize through broad development efforts, many are faced with abandoned and underutilized properties that impede the redevelopment of the community at large.
These abandoned properties, or “brownfields,” vary in size and historical usage, ranging from as small as an old gas station to as large as a multiacre former glass factory.
Many of these blighted properties are contaminated, causing potential investors and developers to be wary of purchasing and rehabilitating the properties. Instead, they choose to develop on previously undeveloped sites, or “greenfields.”