BEECH BOTTOM – A Seattle-based manufacturer of electric boats and marine engines is the latest company to choose to invest in the Tri-State Area.
Pure Watercraft, a direct-to-consumer supplier of electric boats, announced Wednesday its plans to locate operations at Brooke County’s Beech Bottom Industrial Park. The announcement was made by company and state officials during the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting and Business Summit at the Greenbrier Resort.
“It’s wonderful. We’re doing great things in this city,” Beech Bottom Mayor Becky Uhlly said about the news.
Pure Watercraft plans to invest $5 million as part of the renovation of an 80,000 square foot area of the industrial park that was once the headquarters of Wheeling Corrugating and is now owned by Business Development Corp. of the Northern Panhandle.
The company will produce electric pontoon boats at the facility and expects to create about 100 jobs by the end of 2025.
“It will be an asset to the whole community if good jobs come to the area,” said Uhlly.
Marvin Six, BDC executive director, said the local economic development agency worked closely with the West Virginia Department of Commerce to attract the company to the area.
“Pure wanted to enter this market” Six said that in addition to providing access to the Ohio River, the Beech Bottom location would also provide proximity to General Motors facilities in the eastern United States.
Pure Watercraft was founded in 2011, with General Motors acquiring a 25 percent stake in the company in 2021, according to reports from CNBC.
Andy Rebele, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, was present Wednesday to make the announcement, along with Gov. Jim Justice, Secretary of Economic Development Mitch Carmichael, US Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, RW.Va., US Sen. Joe Manchin, DW.Va., and State Senator Ryan Weld, R-Brooke.
“We are grateful to Justice, Carmichael and the West Virginia Legislature for their leadership as they support Pure Watercraft’s efforts to build boats that are more enjoyable, accessible and environmentally friendly than ever.” said rebel.
Brooke County Commissioner AJ Thomas noted that the company’s investment is another indication of a rebuilding of the local economy, bringing new jobs to the area and showing efforts to diversify rather than relying on one or two companies for jobs and one create a tax base.
“We need to get to the point where closing one industry no longer affects all others,” Thomas said. “I think there’s a lot more to come.”
Six reiterated that this is the type of project the BDC was created to develop.
“We’re taking a distressed property that was once put to good use,” he said. “We’re taking it out of this distressed state and cleaning up the environment and properties.”