Updated 09/19/2012 04:51 PM
Grand Opening of East Avenue Inn & Suites
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
A ribbon cutting ceremony marked the official opening of the East Avenue Inn and Suites at 384 East Avenue.
Originally built in the 1950s as a Treadway Inn, the property has gone through many owners over the years, and in recent years, was a trouble spot for the city.
John Billone, the developer of the parcel, believes that will change by providing value and bringing in what he calls the right clientele.
"That's no different than the rest of the projects we've done. Word gets out that its quality and we have a certain set of parameters that we will stick to and I think we're going to be fine,” Billone said.
Hotel management believes the hotel is at an ideal location for a successful venture, as it sits right between the entertainment and arts districts.
Situated on the corner of East Avenue and Alexander Street, hotel general manager Dale Gargiulo says that will play a key role in the hotel's marketing scheme.
"And the value we build in our service and our product. This corner is growing by leaps and bounds and we're glad to be a part of it,” said Gargiulo.
The new East Avenue Inn and Suites is an independent hotel with 118 rooms including 24 suites. The redevelopment cost $4 million.
Billone is better known for refurbishing apartment buildings. He said everything about this project was different than others his firm has done.
"We were paying attention to things like bedding and the bathrooms, things we wouldn't normally pay attention to, so for me it was a huge learning curve. I did not realize how many moving parts there are with a hotel,” he said.
The hotel has been open for business since June with most of the rooms filled to capacity. There are still two buildings on the lot that need developing, including a 10,000 square foot restaurant. Billone says he wants to turn that space into three separate restaurants.