The Fairmont Community Development Partnership is planning to celebrate the official launch of its Traction Square project Wednesday afternoon in the city’s South Side neighborhood.

Bob Gribben, FCDP executive director, said a ribbon-cutting ceremony is set to begin around 1 p.m. for several residential and commercial units that have opened in three renovated buildings along Fairmont Avenue. The ceremony will begin in front of Trevino’s, the new Mexican Restaurant located in the area, and will include a ribbon cutting followed by tours of the three renovated buildings within Traction Square, he said.

He said local delegates and senators, representatives from the Fairmont City Council, as well as some business leaders and other individuals, have been invited to participate in the event.

“This does, we think, represent an important asset to downtown development as part of the South Side neighborhood project,” Gribben said of this project.

Gribben explained that the Traction Square project, which began five or six years ago, did not start out with a master plan as many endeavors such as this do. Instead, it started with a grant for the FCDP to relocate the Soup Opera building that used to operate at the area’s McCoy Building.

The FCDP helped move the Soup Opera to Quincy Street and in turn became the recipients of the McCoy Building, which was then renovated on all three floors for business and residential use, Gribben said.

From there, the partnership took over the Freight House and the Crawford Building, which are also located in the area, and now all three renovated structures are part of Traction Square.

Within the three structures, Gribben said there are a total of 25 residential apartment units as well as Trevino’s and several other commercial units. He added that there are still two partially renovated commercial units available for rent that will be completed to suit the future renters.

The partnership also purchased some space for additional parking for these renovated buildings and completed some demolition and streetscape work in the area as part of the overall project.

E-mail Mallory Panuska at

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