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WestRidge finalizing negotiations with Owens & Minor for new facility

MORGANTOWN — A $50 million healthcare products preparedness center is coming to Monongalia County — more specifically, the WestRidge Business & Retail Park.

Gov. Jim Justice’s office confirmed on Wednesday that Owens & Minor, a leading global healthcare solutions company and new partner of WVU Medicine, will work with the state to launch a facility in the Morgantown area.

Ryan Lynch, representing developer WestRidge, narrowed it down even further, explaining WestRidge and Owens & Minor are currently in negotiations.

“Given that negotiations are still ongoing, I can’t disclose project details, but I am authorized to confirm that we’ve been working with them and their other consultants on the design and planning of this exciting facility for several months now,” Lynch said.

According to Lynch, the facility would be adjacent to the 100,000-square-foot FedEx Ground distribution center, which opened in 2016.

The distribution and logistics center is expected to create more than 125 jobs and significantly bolster the supply chain of medical products in the area and across the state.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us all that preparedness and resiliency are incredibly important, so this partnership is more than just another business deal, it will have real-world positive benefits for all West Virginians,” Justice said.

On Tuesday, the West Virginia Legislature closed out its two-day special session by approving the placement of $15 million in unspent general revenue into the Economic Development Department’s Economic Development Promotion and Closing Fund.

This project will be the beneficiary of those funds.

“We are thrilled to partner with an enterprise like WVU Medicine and support healthcare throughout the great state of West Virginia,” said Edward A. Pesicka, president and CEO of Owens & Minor. “We look forward to driving efficiencies and collaborating on supply chain excellence together.”

According to the press release, Owens & Minor’s predominantly Americas-based footprint enables the company to reliably supply its self-manufactured surgical and PPE products, which includes a portfolio of products representing 1,200 branded suppliers.

Lynch said there should be additional information about the project in the next 90 days.

“We applaud Gov. Justice and Secretary Carmichael’s clear commitment to helping advance both this project and other exciting economic development projects for both Monongalia County and West Virginia,” Lynch said.

Monongalia County Commission President Tom Bloom echoed Lynch’s sentiments, praising the efforts of Justice and his team.

Bloom pointed out that this news comes on the heels of the expanded Morgantown Industrial Park landing a major new tenant, unofficially known as Mountaintop Beverage, which is currently building a 210,000-square-foot facility.

And, he said, there’s likely more to come.

“I can say we’re in negotiations with a third company — light factory — that could provide between 250 and 500 jobs,” Bloom said. “That is in the early stages, but it’s looking good.”

Lynch said he expects additional project details to be available in the next 90 days.

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