Commonwealth Journal

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February 3, 2014

Economy Inn demolition is making room for Somerset Nursing & Rehab expansion

Somerset —

And the walls came tumbling down.
As of this week, Economy Inn, which stood just off Monticello Street in Somerset, is no more than a memory. Heavy construction equipment and dump trucks were at the site Friday, Monday and Tuesday as the brick structure, which had been at the location in some form or another since 1943, was razed.
“It’s time to really improve our community,” said Somerset Mayor Eddie Girdler at the hotel site.
The city has big plans for the site, which is about two-and-a-half acres. In November 2013, city councilors voted to buy the hotel for $150,000 — a good deal, considering it assessed for $300,000 — and immediately began working toward a purchase agreement with Somerset Nursing and Rehabilitation Facility, which owns the adjacent property behind the motel. 
Once the motel is demolished, and the site cleaned of debris, the city will grade and seed the site, which will be a green space. The city has already entered into an agreement with Somerset Nursing and Rehab which will include the assisted living facility’s purchase of the site from the city for $150,000. After that, the facility is expected to invest millions in building an assisted living facility on the property.
Girdler has noted that the project is one of several where the City of Somerset has purchased blighted properties and transformed them into parks our used them for other beneficial purposes.
“For many, many years, people were asking ‘Can’t you do something with this place?’” said Girdler on Monday.
The motel was once called Somerset Court, and in its prime it served as lodging for a hosts of guests including businessmen, tourists, soldiers, travelers, etc.
In recent years, however, the motel had been considered a problematic location. One room was the site of a methamphetamine fire, and local authorities were often called there to reports of criminal activity, such as drug use and drug trafficking. 

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