The Priory Hotel in East Allegheny is looking to expand.

In the aftermath of the January fire that damaged the Priory Hotel and destroyed the adjacent apartment on Pressley Street, as well as an economy that is experiencing contractions, the owners have decided to move forward in planning and designing the addition.

John Graf, who manages the Priory Hospitality Group, said that the willingness of others to back the project shows the strength of the brand and faith in the strength of the community. The expansion would offer about 17 more rooms and include features that have been lacking in the current historic structure.

Although the project is still being designed and planned, Graf has said that an addition built into the current adjacent lot would look as much like a standalone building as possible, and that it would match the current architecture of the neighborhood. In this case that style would be a late Victorian house that would include wheelchair access and an elevator.

“One thing we are trying to do is make it look as much like a residence as possible,” Graf said. “It would look like a standalone building.”

He said the vast majority of people he has spoken to have been supportive of the expansion.