Sunnyside Up Seeks Investors

Morgantown Dominion Post
14 January 2016
By Katelyn Lester

Sunnyside Up is seeking investors to develop and purchase roughly two acres of Morgantown riverfront property, along Beechurst Avenue between Fourth and Sixth streets.
Formed in 2002, as the Campus Neighborhoods Revitalization Corp. (CNRC), Sunnyside Up is a nonprofit organization designed to assist in developing, designing and implementing plans to improve neighborhoods surrounding the WVU campus.

Sunnyside, along University Avenue, was the organization’s first neighborhood under CNRC’s development.

“We were designated by the city in 2008 as the developer of the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) project for Sunnyside, so we are involved in infrastructure improvements and providing money through the TIF funds,” Frank Scafella, executive director of CNRC, said.

Sunnyside Up has taken on the project of improving the neighborhood between Fourth and Sixth streets. The properties will be torn down in preparation of building “four-season” housing — in which residents remain for all four seasons of the year.

Alissa Miranda, a WVU senior from New Jersey who is majoring in history, was unaware of the new project that will take place on her street.

“I think it would be nicer,” she said, “But just knowing that some people will get kicked out … it’s kind of the downfall to it,” Miranda said.

When students move into the buildings that currently sit along Beechurst, they are primarily present during the school year, Scafella explained. Creating new housing will attract the demographics of young and urban professionals, families and retirees in order to balance four-season housing and student rentals.

“We’re trying to enable that kind of revitalization to occur because if you can build a new four- or five-story residential complex there, then you add a whole new demographic of residents to the community and you’ve put new resources into the city,” Scafella said.

The project is a product Sunnyside has not had yet, Scafella said.

“What we are doing is helping to move the comprehensive plans forward by emphasizing the need for four-season residents in Sunnyside,” Scafella said. “We’re facilitating development, we’re not going to do the development ourselves.”

Sunnyside Up released request for development proposals Wednesday. The proposals should include: An offered price for the 1.99-acre site, a conceptual plan, an architectural concept, details about the proposed development and a proposed financing strategy.

Note: The property appears to be "river view" rather than "riverfront" since illustrations appear to show a strip of land between the development site and the riverbank.