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Connellsville hotel construction could start in March

| Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014, 12:06 a.m.

The construction of a $5 million hotel in Connellsville could begin next month.

Michael Edwards, executive director of the Connellsville Redevelopment Authority, told authority members Tuesday night that Hotel d2, the developer of the Cobblestone Hotel, plans to move ahead with construction after the closing for the land transaction next week.

“It's my understanding that the actual construction could begin about a month after the closing,” Edwards said.

Previously, Hotel d2 had planned to break ground for the hotel, with Cobblestone as the potential hotel owner, in December.

The structure would feature a building with two wings, with a driveway running through a center section. The building would will be raised 3 feet higher than the current elevation to keep the first floor above the flood plain, since it will be near the Youghiogheny River.

Potential guests include bikers and hikers along the Great Allegheny Passage.

Those traveling by rail on Amtrak from the Washington area or the Midwest could leave the Capitol Limited with their bicycles or hiking gear, cross the river and stay overnight in the hotel before heading east on the passage.

The land is on First Street at the site of the former Connellsville Bottling Co.

Edwards said the developer set the end of 2014 as the target completion date for the new 56-room, three-story hotel.

Hotel d2 is considering the possibility of constructing a second hotel on the opposite side of the Youghiogheny River, Edwards said.

Edwards said the authority has applied for a $100,000 grant through the Benedum Foundation that would be earmarked for pre-development costs of the hotel.

“The hotel project is moving ahead on schedule,” he said.

Cindy Ekas is a contributing writer.

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