By LEIGH C. MERRIFIELD
News & Journal Editor
In case you haven’t noticed, Shinnston has more new housing that has been put in place on the hill above Go-Mart. The complex consists of ten units that are townhouse style apartments. There are four 3-bedroom units and six 2-bedroom units, all furnished with kitchen appliances (including microwaves), and each unit features its own washer/dryer as well.
Built by Cook Brothers Construction Company, this is not the first investment the Cooks have made in Shinnston. Their venture began four years ago when they made a purchase on South Pike Street from Jim Demus. This acquisition included several existing apartments and the laundromat that occupied space below those apartments … as well as apartments behind that building and space below them that is occupied by Unique Hair Design.
“We made lots of improvements to those apartments as well as the laundromat – updating the machines, changing the floors, removing paneling and brightening up the walls, adding air-conditioning so that those who utilize the facility would be comfortable. The laundromat also has some extras like the availability of a wash & fold service, televisions, wi-fi, vending machines and an ATM,” said owner Kenny Cook. “We probably put about ¼ million dollars into all the updating we did, but it was important to us to do it right. And we’re told that folks appreciate its pleasant atmosphere and cleanliness.”
Not long after this property was up and functional, Cook purchased adjacent property and built a 12-unit apartment building.
“Since there is not a lot of nice apartment housing available in this area, we were quite fortunate that all of these 12 units were rented even prior to their completion,” Cook added. “And we were even more fortunate with our townhouses; they were all spoken for before the drywall was even hung!”
Moving right along … Cook’s next project was Pike Street Car Wash. He said he had some knowledge of the car wash business and a few friends who owned them, and it was something he wanted to try for himself. He worked for a couple of years to acquire the property where the soft-touch and touchless wash facility now sits.
With the townhouse complex now fully occupied, he is continuing with the construction of 44 apartment units in Fairmont and will soon begin a 96-apartment complex on Lodgeville Road in Bridgeport.
“It keeps me busy, but it’s self-inflicted,” he quipped. I enjoy what I do and it has worked out well for us.”
The townhouse complex in Shinnston will not be Cook’s last investment in Shinnston. He is already thinking ahead and wants to build even more rental units in the Shinnston area and maybe a few other endeavors that are still in his ‘thinking process’ right now.
“I love Shinnston,” he continued. “I grew up in Worthington, not far from Shinnston, and I purchased my first house on Pleasant Hill in Shinnston when I was just 21 years old. I lived there for six years before purchasing a farm on Satlwell Road, so I still remain in the Shinnston area. I’ve lived here for 25 years now. The City has been great to work with and I intend to do all I can to continue to invest in Shinnston. Everyone has been very supportive of what we’ve done thus far, and we won’t stop here!”