Housing Eyed For Hotel Site

A 40-unit apartment complex for seniors is coming to Elm Grove and could be leasing by the fall of 2015, according to the developer planning the project.

On Monday, Wheeling Planning Commission members approved Woda Group Inc.’s site plan for the project on the two acre site of the former Fort Henry Motor Inn, between National Road and Lincoln Avenue near the Elm Grove Crossing Mall.

The planned complex consists of a single, three-story building with mostly single-bedroom apartments and a few two-bedroom units. The building will be for tenants 62 and older, although younger people may live there as long as one tenant meets the age requirement.

Woda Group Vice President Glenn Schultz said his company is familiar with the area and is looking to fill a need for senior housing.

“We’re all getting older here, and it seemed to be marketable,” he said.

Tom Connelly, assistant director of Wheeling’s Economic and Community Development Department, said plans call for a 60-space parking lot with two access points, both from Lincoln Avenue, and existing landscaping will be tidied up to serve as a buffer between the apartment complex and homes across the street.

With Connelly’s assurance that the site plan meets all zoning regulations, commission members asked few questions before voting 7-0 to approve the site plan, with Public Works Director Russell Jebbia, Barry Crow, Michael Leo Jr., Thomas McCullough, John Clarke, Councilman Don Atkinson and Martha Wright in favor. James Mauck Jr. was absent, and Chairman Howard Monroe only votes in case of a tie.

The two-acre Fort Henry Motor Inn site has been empty since the old hotel was demolished in the 1990s. Talk of building a shopping plaza there surfaced in the early 2000s, but the project never materialized.

Headquartered in Westerville, Ohio, the Woda Group manages more than 170 apartment complexes in 12 different states in the Midwest and along the Eastern Seaboard.

Locally, it operates the Providence Greene apartments in North Wheeling and the Stone Brooke and Heathermoor apartments in Weirton.