- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 17, 2016

FRANKLIN, W.Va. (AP) - The online auction has started for West Virginia’s former Naval Information Operations Center support base at Sugar Grove in Pendleton County.

The online bidding began Feb. 9, according to Susan B. Webb, project manager for the General Services Administration’s Real Property Utilization and Disposal division, The Charleston Gazette-Mail reported (bit.ly/1SSbjb6).

“We have not set our open house dates, but I expect the first one will be in the next few weeks,” Webb said.

The now-vacant property was decommissioned Sept. 30, ending a 60-year Navy presence in Pendleton County and shuttering the state’s sole active-duty military installation.

According to its listing on the GSA Auctions website, the site is “ideal for a corporate training center, a university or academic campus, a spa/clinic, movie studio or mountain resort.”

The 122.85-acre base supported up to 450 Navy personnel and their dependents, who lived in a self-contained community that included single-family homes, a dormitory, guest cabins, a retail area, recreational areas, a community center and more.

While the state Division of Corrections was in contention to have the base transferred to state ownership virtually free of real estate charges for use as a women’s prison, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin opted in mid-September not to pursue the property.

The closing date for the base’s online auction has not been determined. As of Tuesday, the high bid listed on the GSA website for the property was $1 million.

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Information from: The Charleston Gazette-Mail, http://wvgazettemail.com.

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