ST. CLAIRSVILLE - As bulldozers, backhoes and dump trucks continue moving dirt for the new 14-acre Kettler's Ridge retail project, developer Jeff Albrecht believes at least two new stores will be open before the end of the year.
"We have moved 375,000 cubic yards of dirt. We're almost done," he said. "This is a great location, and it's a great time to be in retail in Belmont County."
Directly across National Road from Whiteside Chevrolet Buick Cadillac GMC near the Ohio Valley Mall and Plaza, the new retail center will feature a CVS pharmacy and an Advance Auto Parts store. Albrecht said the drugstore is tentatively slated to open in October, while Advance is set for a November debut.
Photo by Casey Junkins
Developer Jeff Albrecht said the new Kettler’s Ridge retail project near the Ohio Valley Mall and Plaza should have at least two stores open before the end of the year.
"We should have the Sheetz open by next spring," Albrecht said.
Albrecht said discussions to bring at least one restaurant and a hotel to the site continue, but he could not confirm any potential tenants.
Albrecht said he did not yet decide on what brand of hotel to open. Another hotel would be in addition to the 85-room Microtel Inn and Suites by Wyndham that opened last year near the St. Clairsville Hampton Inn, as well as the new 55-room Comfort Inn along National Road between St. Clairsville and Blaine.
The demand for Belmont County hotel rooms is high because of the oil and natural gas industry workers in the area, as a new 76-room Days Inn & Suites is now open directly across from Union Local High School in Morristown.
"St. Clairsville is right in the heart of the Utica Shale area. With all of the oil and gas drilling, there will be a lot of growth," he said. "This is a great location."
Commissioner Mark Thomas said the oil and natural gas industry is one factor contributing to commercial expansion throughout Belmont County.
"I smile every time I drive by. We have growth everywhere along Interstate 70," Thomas said. "It is very pleasing to see this county-wide growth."
The Kettler's Ridge project is taking place now, shortly after extensive renovations occurred at the Ohio Valley Mall last year. The Boscov's department store, which occupies the space originally home to J.C. Penney from 1978 to 2007, opened nearly one year ago, while Macy's recently upgraded its store.
"We can't lose sight of the fact that the new developments run along with the course of the Ohio Valley Mall and plaza," Thomas said. "It's a great time to be in Belmont County."