New life is being breathed into the Clarendon Hotel beginning this week, with the establishment expected to be operational again by the end of the year.
City officials and members of the Historic Clarendon LLC partnership that is renovating the building made the plans official Wednesday.
St. Clairsville Service Director Dennis Bigler spoke about the building's past, from its origins in 1890, its use as a bank and residential establishment housing restaurants, to its decline as an eyesore and location for crime and, at one point, a meth lab. According to the police department, the site has seen 60 police calls per year at times.
The city acquired the property and began pursuing grants, and about $1 million was spent in structural stabilization, roofing and windows.
Further funding sources became available in 2008-09.
"All that funding created a very unique opportunity to do the Clarendon," Bigler said. "We had built this network of people that we knew around the state and from other states."
The Clarendon will be an extended stay establishment with a restaurant. There will be 18 fully-furnished units.
Steve Coons, one of the owners, said the building has much potential.
"We're really proud to be a part of that," he said. "When I came here and walked through the building, I instantly fell in love with it."
Coon praised the city, Mayor Robert Vincenzo and Bigler for their work in preserving the building and bringing his group in.
Citizens Bank was also praised for their decision to fund the project.
"Citizens stepped up to the plate. Without them, this would have never happened," Coon said. "We're going to fast-track this. We've got six months to convert this. It's going to be a great project and it's going to be great for the community."
His partners, David Jurish and Joe Parsons, agreed, with Parsons adding the city has been helpful and gracious throughout the process.
"We really do want to be part of the community," he said.
The historic elements including woodwork and granite countertops will be preserved whenever possible. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Vincenzo said the building will be more beneficial to the area restored than it would have been if torn down and the space used as a parking lot.
"We're going to keep our building. It's history personified," he said. "We didn't want it to be destroyed."
Coon said the project represents a total investment of $4 million. Federal and state historic tax credits will help make the renovation a reality.
The state tax credit along with the Federal Historic Tax Credit will provide funding and assistance of about $750,000.