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Charleston sports complex brings high hopes for Macy’s building



CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) – The old Macy’s building is a part of history for many people in Southern West Virginia, but city and county officials announced the space will bring new memories with families for decades to come.

“What is going to happen fairly soon is going to be bigger than that and it will last longer than that,” said U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.

Kanawha County Commissioner Ben Salango said the acquisition of the property was closed on last week, and demolition of the building is underway.

A sports complex will be built at the location with state-of-the-art facilities.

Mayor Amy Shuler Goodwin said the city has been working with architects, engineers and Sports Facilities Inc. that develops facilities to accommodate large-scale sports tourism.

“It matters so very much where a locker room is, where an open bathroom is for folks coming to watch their granddaughter who don’t need a locker room, so how these building are set up extremely important,” Goodwin said. “For a facility like this, we are just going to see breaking even for the first year or two and not making anything until three of four. That is standard, but after that the skies the limit.

The facility will house eight basketball courts that turn into volleyball courts, six pickleball courts, an indoor turf field, a fitness center, wrestling gym, elevated walking track, 30-foot rock wall and birthday party rooms.

“Shawnee Sports Complex is a great example you are looking at operationally $800,000 dollars a year to run but then the economic impact is $30 to $40 million a year,” Salango said. “Operationally you can expect around a million, million and a half dollar to run the facility every year, but the economic impact will be tens and tens of millions a year.”

The demolition by Rodney Loftis and Sons will take six to eight weeks.

“As it is laid out right now for basketball and volleyball will be an anchor place, which means we will be able to host some of the biggest tournaments all over the country, especially on the East Coast, because that is the pull,” Goodwin said.

City officials said this is phase one of the project. Initially the renderings released in 2022 included an aquatic center, but the property for that has not been purchased. Officials said those rendering will not look like the complex which is being designed.

Sen. Manchin along with county and city officials hope to obtain federal, state and corporate dollars to help find the project.

The city of Charleston and the Kanawha County Commission both invested $5 million. Currently there is $12 million already acquired.

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