Hotel project advances on schedule

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

Turning a site off Ninth Street into a hotel and restaurant complex appears on target as some warm December weather has given the project a boost, according to Ralph Kline of the Ironton-Lawrence County Community Action Organization.

Right now John Mullins Construction of Wheelersburg is in the midst of finishing up installing storm sewers on the grounds that will become the Ninth Street Gateway Center.

The first segment of the Gateway project will be a Holiday Inn Express and Suites and a Frisch’s Big Boy restaurant.

Mullins is handling the preliminary site work and constructing the Frisch’s while MPH Hotels of St. Petersburg, Fla., will build the Holiday Inn. MPH has constructed more than 150 hotels across the country.

After storm sewers are completed, pouring the concrete slab for the hotel should be next, Kline said.

“You will see it coming out of the ground,” he said. “We are on target. We are staying there but you are always concerned about going into the winter season.”

Creating the Ninth Street project started in 2009 with the creation of the Old Engineer Property LLC, comprised of the now defunct Ironton Port Authority, the Lawrence County Port Authority, the CAO and the Lawrence Economic Development Corporation. The Old Engineer began acquiring acreage on Ninth Street from Vernon to Adams street.

Approximately two acres were transferred for construction of the hotel and restaurant. The county port authority will retain ownership of the remaining acreage.

Around the two structures is planned a common area.

“We have been checking around about landscape architects,” Kline said. “We probably will be in January working on landscaping plans and the signage.”


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