New Office Building Coming to Huntington, W.V.

Jul. 7--A Huntington business owner said Thursday he plans to build an office building on the former Bonded/Marathon gas station site at the corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and Lee Street in Charleston.

"We're going to put up a 7,000- to 8,000-square-foot office building there," said C. Wayne Manning, president and CEO of Partners Insurance & Financial Services Inc.

Manning won the right to buy the property when his real estate firm, JH&H Rentals, emerged as the high bidder in a bankruptcy court auction of the gas station property last week. Manning bid $385,000 -- $100,000 more than the earlier written high bid for the site.

The property is owned by Boggs Petroleum Inc. of Ashland, Ky., which sought bankruptcy protection several years ago.

The two-story office building will house the Charleston office of Partners Insurance, which now rents space on Tennessee Avenue, Manning said. "It will provide greater visibility and access," he said.

The company, based in Huntington, offers a variety of insurance and financial services through six offices across the state, including one in South Charleston. It opened the Charleston office in 2001. Partners has between 35 and 40 employees statewide.

"We intend to be good corporate citizens for the city of Charleston," Manning said.

The sale of the property has not been completed, said Phaedra Spradlin, a court-appointed bankruptcy trustee in Lexington, Ky., but should take place soon. Subtrax, a local operator of Subway stores, also bid on the property, she said.

To contact staff writer Jim Balow, use e-mail or call 348-5102.

<<Charleston Gazette, The (WV) (KRT) -- 07/10/06>>