The Parthenon

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EDITORIAL: The Market is a symbol of Huntington progress


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There is no doubt that Huntington has problems. Nobody disagrees with that fact. But what city doesn’t? There is an opioid epidemic crippling our city and exhausting our law enforcement. The Huntington area has struggled for years to keep and create business. But one thing is also for sure—downtown is completely different from ten years ago, even five years ago. Downtown Huntington is starting to feel the way it should feel. It is thriving and growing, and there is an energy that pulses through its sidewalks. And in the center of all of this, in the heart of our city, sits downtown’s newest development: The Market.

A little over two years ago, downtown developers Phil Nelson and Jim Weiler began their $7 million renovation project of four buildings on the 800 block of third avenue.  Most of the space occupied in these buildings has been transformed into business offices—a real hub of local business. But right in the center of it all sits the market, which will house at least seven local retail businesses, including several restaurants, a grocery store and a craft beer and wine store. The Market will also have an outdoor area for dining and resting, complete with murals, games and even a fire pit.

“After purchasing the four buildings over two years ago,” wrote The Herald-Dispatch’s Fred Pace, “Nelson and Weiler have nearly completed the transformation of a once-vacant street corner into one of the downtown area’s liveliest blocks.”

At the mention of this new market, peoples’ eyes light up.  Downtown buzzes with wonder. This space is so much more than some retail location—it’s a symbol of hope and restoration, a hope that Huntington locals have longed for. With the merging of artisans and entrepreneurship, dining and diversity, The Market is a reflection of our city’s emerging values. This market encompasses what our city has wanted for so long, and now it sits right on the sidewalk of third avenue as a beacon of hope. Although the nightly news seems bleak, good things are also happening, and darkness cannot hinder the light forever.

While development is underway downtown, it is more important than ever for Marshall students to leave the confines of their campus, to sign out of their dorm rooms and to participate and enjoy and help to shape the forming culture of the city. It is time to engage the community and contribute to the revitalization and economic development. Enjoy a local cup of coffee, a local slice of pizza and maybe even buy a local birthday present. Our dollars are our most powerful votes. Where we put our money will determine so much of the direction that the city takes as it progresses into a new era.

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