16-unit townshouses rising on Brady Avenue

STEUBENVILLE – Two buildings have been razed and the ground cleared as the Davis family prepares to build 16 new townhouse units on Brady Avenue.

Jim Davis bought the three lots in 2012 and had the former Stoney Hollow Inn and a house behind the bar demolished earlier this year.

Fort Steuben Maintenance installed a sewer connection from the property to the city sewer line beneath Brady Avenue last week and construction work is starting on the four buildings soon.

“I drove by this property every day and thought it would be an ideal site for housing units for the Franciscan University students. College students are looking for housing off campus that gives them a nice place to live, a healthy atmosphere and a secure place. We will be able to offer them all that within a short distance of the campus,” cited Matt Davis.

“Eric Exley did the engineering work for the project and we are ready to move forward,” he added.

His father, Jim, said the family owned business also has been contacted by the oil and gas industry interested in new housing.

“We wanted to start on this project but were delayed because of the winter weather. So we demolished the two buildings early this year and started shaping up the site. Our townhouses will be in four separate buildings with four units in each structure. We are excited about this project because this is the first new housing construction of this type in the city for some time. We bring our extensive construction history and experience to the project,” explained Jim.

“There is a demand for new housing in the community. We are working to meet that demand and provide affordable upscale housing for people interested in a townhouse setting,” said Matt.

According to Jim, his son Chad had the house on the property demolished in a little over two hours.

“It took about four hours to take down the bar. And when we were doing it we had people stopping by to take photos. Fran Smogor, the last owner of the bar, even stopped to take some photos. There was a lot of history in that small bar but now we are going to create new history with new housing,” noted Matt.

Smogor and her sister, Mary Ann Donnelly, watched the Stoney Hollow Inn come down earlier this year.

“It was a little sad to see it demolished because my parents had bought the place in 1977, when my dad retired from the city. It was a neighborhood bar. There were only four parking spots so people just walked to the place. It was a friendly place where everyone knew each other. And the bar was famous for its Halloween parties and the Stoney Burger, which was a double decker hamburger,” recalled Donnelly.

“My parents also had a Thanksgiving dinner there for people who didn’t have anywhere else to go. And my dad always served people in the military. He felt if you were old enough to fight for your country you were old enough to drink a beer,” noted Donnelly.

“The Stoney Hollow Inn was like our living room because we all spent so much time working there. I remember someone had a wedding reception there. It was a very personal bar. We would have guys stop in to have a beer. They would pull out a couple photos to share, spend some time talking to us or their friends and then go home,” stated Donnelly.

“But it has been closed for several years now and I’m glad to see something new being built there. I still have good memories of the place,” remarked Donnelly.