Authority Clears Way For Highland Projects

A new hotel and two multi-tenant developments are on their way to The Highlands.

Ohio County Development Authority members Tuesday night approved the sale of lots at the county-owned development, but offered few details on what businesses would be locating there.

A hotel will be constructed on two acres of land behind the Cheddars Casual Cafe, said County Commissioner Randy Wharton, president of the development authority. An unnamed developer will pay $900,000 for the property, and what hotel franchise will locate there is still to be determined.

United Growth, which specializes in retail properties across America, will also pay $900,000 for two acres of land west of the Fusion Restaurant. Wharton said two buildings will be constructed there, with a patio in between them.

He believes United Growth already has tenants lined up for the buildings, but those tenants have yet to be revealed.

An unnamed tenant also has purchased two acres of land in the rear section at The Highlands. Cost for the property there was $410,000, though no additional information was available.

The authority also approved two lease agreements to bring professional offices to the building that also houses the AT&T call center. One of the leases is for 1,583 feet of space, and the other for 7,063 square feet. Wharton did not have the information on the amount of the lease, or who would be locating there.

Also, the opening of the Primanti Brothers restaurant being constructed at The Highlands will be delayed by one month, County Administrator Greg Stewart told board members.

The restaurant was expected to open for business in mid-September, and that date will now be sometime in October. Stewart said weather put construction on the project behind.

A county commission meeting followed the development authority meeting.

Ohio County Health Department Administrator Howard Gamble appeared before commissioners, and thanked them for funding recent upgrades at the health department.

Commissioners approved hotel-motel tax grants to the ECHO 5K race for $250; Warwood Light Up Night, $2,300; and the West Liberty Historical Society Revolutionary War Veterans Flag Holders, $300.