A New Face for Charleston's West Side

By: Brooks Jarosz Email
By: Brooks Jarosz Email

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A new brand and a new logo were unveiled in hopes of sparking improvements to Charleston's West Side.
There was excitement Tuesday afternoon outside Stonewall Jackson Middle School, with no shortage of pride in a community that wants to turn around.

This new marketing campaign is aimed at promoting businesses to reestablish that area into a vibrant place to live and work.

One Charleston West Side bakery nestled on a corner of West Washington Street has only been serving coffee and pastries for a month and a half.

"I just love it over here," owner Juanita Clark said. "The people are really good people in this area, and I just thought it would be a good opportunity."

The West Side has long been known for more than its fair share of drugs, prostitution and violence.

"I think sometimes the West Side gets a bad rep," Clark said.

"The West Side is safe, the West Side is vibrant, and there's going to be a lot going on here," West Virginia Main Street Board Member Joe Deneault said. "People need to get involved."

West Side Main Street (WSMS) Association and West Virginia State University extension put together this campaign.

"We've developed a campaign that will encourage people to 'Go West' and to 'Think West'," WVMS Executive Director Pat McGill said.

"Some of this is going to serve as a catalyst to try to improve what's going on on the West Side and improve the image of the West Side," Charleston Mayor Danny Jones said.

"This area is going to be booming one day -- again," Clark said.

"We've got a real sense of community here and we've got a lot of people that are really interested in preserving that rich heritage," McGill said. "Also, our goal is getting to see new development and new revitalization for the West Side."

The West Side Main Street Committee says it's encouraged 14 new businesses to move in, creating nearly 120 new jobs.

All businesses on the West Side are asked to use the new logo to promote the revitalization in that community. WSMS also assists businesses in finding good locations to set up shop and helps with renovations by providing grants.

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