UpTowner's Future

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Parkersburg City Council gave new life to a long-vacant Parkersburg motel Tuesday night.

City Council decided unanimously to allocate $450,000 in economic development grants to buy and renovate the structure on Seventh Street.

The UpTowner Inn closed in the 1980s, and for six years there have been plans to use the motel as a senior citizen housing complex.

Mayor Jimmy Colombo says that's still a realistic option.

"The people who travel Seventh Street and know the history of this building, know the best use of this building would be someone living in it, operating out of it," the mayor said. "I hope we're heading in that direction."

The building already has had its old walls and plumbing removed, but the mayor says it's still structurally sound.

A Maryland contractor is expected to be in charge of the renovation project.

The city faced a September 30 deadline to use the federal dollars, which had been earmarked for the now-defunct civic center project.