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Lawrence County officials working on new hotel plan

May. 11, 2013 @ 12:15 AM

IRONTON -- Announcements about a new hotel for Ironton and a new business at The Point, a South Point industrial park, could be coming in about a month, said Bill Dingus, executive director of the Lawrence Economic Development Corporation.

Local officials have been working for several years on a proposed hotel project along South 9th Street in an area that formerly housed the former Dennis J. Boll Group Home. The project site also includes several adjacent parcels including the former county garage property.

No contracts have been signed, but plans to bring in a Holiday Inn Express and at least one restaurant, were discussed in a meeting chamber officials had earlier this week with the Ohio Development Services Agency. It was part of the chamber's 27th annual trip to Columbus to discuss issues of local interest with state officials.

The Lawrence Economic Development Corporation would be a general partner in the project, Dingus said.

"We hope to make an announcement in 30 days," Dingus said.

The project needs community development block grant funds for infrastructure improvements, said Ralph Kline, assistant executive director of the Ironton-Lawrence County Area Community Action Organization.

The city could apply for up to $500,000 in federal block grand funds for things like streets, water and electrical work, Kline said. The developers would have to put up matching funds, Kline said. The block grant funds would represent about 60 percent and the local match would be about 40 percent, he said.

Kline said it could take about 90 days to hear about the grant request which is yet to be filed.

Meanwhile, details about a building materials distributor locating in the industrial park could be forthcoming in about 30 days, Dingus said.

Property transfer records in the office of County Auditor Jason Stephens showed the development corporation sold a four-acre parcel in the industrial park in South Point to a company called Huntland LLC for $225,000.

The company is looking to build a 30,000 square-foot building in the industrial park, Dingus said. It would take about six months to erect the building, he said.

The number of jobs that would be coming could be available for both projects in about a month, he said.