• 52°

Park Ave. project to be family care center

Although its eventual occupant has yet to make an official announcement, work on what is widely believed to be a new King’s Daughters family care facility should be completed by spring, according to a building permit and others connected to the project.

Construction on the new facility at 912 Park Ave. began in November 2009 and is scheduled to be completed by May, contractor John Mullins, of the Wheelersburg-based Mullins Construction, said.

At a cost of $1.2 million, the building will be a 16,496-square-foot, two-story structure with 68 rooms, according to the permit filed with the Lawrence County Building Department. The document also lists the facility as family care center.

As the property was cleared and the foundation and exterior walls have been constructed in recent weeks, rumors have swirled about the project.

Right now the facility is owned by Park Avenue Properties, which lists a Barboursville, W.Va. address, but its ownership is expected to be transferred to the Ashland, Ky.,-based hospital corporation in the near future.

KDMC officials declined to comment at this time but at least four officials involved in Lawrence County economic development with knowledge of the project confirmed its eventual use.

“There is no question it is King’s Daughters and that it will be a family care center,” the official said. “I have to assume it would replace the facility at Fifth and Vernon.”

The property is the site of the former Kehoe’s dairy bar and was a used car lot after the eatery moved into a new building across the street.

In May 2008, the land changed hands from Kehoe to John Ball, Frank Lusher and Robert Ballard, according to information filed with the Lawrence County Recorder’s Office.

In Oct. 2008, Lusher transferred his share to the other two.

Mullins said Ballard is the developer for the project. A phone call to Ballard was not returned as of press time.