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Burlington hotel project gets under way

BURLINGTON — It is a bare patch of earth right now, but it will soon hold one of the county’s newest commercial developments.

Ground was officially broken Monday afternoon on the new Comfort Suites at the intersection of Charley Creek Road and U.S. 52. It will be owned by Junior and Hammond Patel, the same developers who own the Quality Inn on U.S. 60 in Huntington, W.Va.

This is one of three motel projects the Patels have under construction right now.

“We are very excited about the project and want to be part of the Lawrence County community,” Hammond Patel said, noting that the location and the planned motel are a good match.

“You have Huntington and Interstate 64 and Highway 52 (in this area),” he said. “There is a lot of development in this part of the county.”

If the Patels are happy to be here, Lawrence County business and government leaders are just as happy to have them here and said so.

“We get at least five calls a day from people asking where they can stay overnight in Lawrence County,” said Vivianne Khounlavong-Vallance, assistant director of the Lawrence Economic Development Corp. “And these will be suites. This will be a good place for families, business people and just for people wanting to stay somewhere overnight.”

Her sentiment was echoed by the new president of the Greater Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce, Mark Compston.

“This is something that is desperately needed,” Compston said. “This will be an improvement for the whole community.”

Lawrence County Commissioner Doug Malone agreed.

“This is a great day for Lawrence County. It’s a great day for Burlington, South Point and the Chesapeake area,” Malone said.

Area leaders are eager not only to see the motel become reality but are eager, also, to see what may follow on its heels. Once planned improvements are made to the Charley Creek/ U.S. 52 interchange, they envision better access to another 35 or so acres of land adjacent to the Comfort Inn property— land that could be used for more commercial/retail development.

“It’s exciting to have people come into Lawrence County and invest their money. We appreciate the Patels for doing this,” Lawrence County Commissioner Jason Stephens said. This is an exciting opportunity for the whole county.”

The 40,000 square foot, three-story Comfort Suites should be open by mid-summer. It will have 62 suites, an indoor pool, fitness room and a business center.

It will create 14-30 jobs.