STEUBENVILLE - Bill Williams is simply following his father's long held philosophy as he oversees construction of a new 79-room Microtel Inn & Suites on Buckeye Street.
"My dad always told me to find out where there's progress and get in front of it. I believe progress is coming to Jefferson County. This is the gateway to Utica. Everything from the Marcellus industry is coming this way. And you have rail, water and an excellent highway system here. That's why we chose this location to build our latest Microtel Inn.
Williams, the owner and developer of Steubenville Hospitality, said he loves Steubenville.
NEW VIEW — The team building a new Microtel Inn & Suites on a hillside overlooking the Ohio River gathered on the bluff to show the view guests will have from the new hotel when it officially opens in December. Standing for the pose were, from left, Bill Williams, owner-developer of Steubenville Hospitality; Chuck Comer, president of the Norco Construction Co.; Kevin Sandridge, on site project superintendent; and Kevin Sikora, project coordinator. - Dave Gossett
"We started construction in early November and hope to have everything completed by Dec. 1 and ready for business shortly after that. The city has been very good to work with. The officials here are very business friendly. We bought this property from Dominic Teramana and he has also been very good to work with on this project. He is a man of integrity and I appreciated his cooperation in making this work. Everything he does is first class," added Williams.
Teramana of the Hollywood City Center shares that view and is currently marketing two adjacent properties to potential restaurant developers.
"The two lots we have available are quite close to the new hotel. We are literally at the apex of state Route 7 and U.S. Route 22. I would like to see a couple of good franchises locate there. The lot closer to the hotel would be excellent for a restaurant like Applebees or an Olive Garden. I am hoping the parcel of land facing University Boulevard will attract a restaurant like IHOP that could serve residents at the other three motels on University Boulevard," explained Teramana.
"We are working on several possibilities and hope to have something completed this spring," he added.
"This community is a great opportunity for future development. Everyone I have dealt with here has been welcoming and friendly. There will be more opportunities for businesses and industries to build and grow in Jefferson County," Williams cited.
As he stood at the edge of the bluff that overlooks state Route 7, the Ohio River and the Veterans Memorial Bridge, Williams said he is planning construction of an outdoor deck.
"The deck will be available for the hotel guests, but I also want the city's safety forces and area residents to enjoy this view. I have a vision for this area and I want people here to share my vision," added Williams.
"We are going to have a 32,000-square-foot, four-story facility. And we will be customer friendly," stated Chuck Comer, president of Norco Construction that is building the hotel.
"We are here and want to make a difference in this community. I am planning to give back to the schools and Franciscan University of Steubenville every month based on our bed occupancy. I believe in planting seeds in a community and I want to plant seeds in this community. We are going to be a part of this community and support Steubenville," said Williams.
"I know the steel industry is not what is once was. But why did the steel industry locate here? There is water and sand available here. And what does the fracking industry use ... water and sand. There is great potential here in Jefferson County as the oil and gas drillers move into Eastern Ohio. And if the cracker plant is ever built in Monaca, (Pa.), you have a four-lane highway to East Liverpool and then east to Monaca. This is a prime location," said Williams.
The new hotel is located at the site of the former All American Lanes Bowling Alley.
"We are going to repave the roadway from the hotel parking lot to where it connects with Buckeye Street and then give the road to the city," said Kevin Sikora, project coordinator.