Over a decade has passed since the Comfort Inn & Suites project in Pittsburgh’s Northside was first imagined. Now it’s open for business, and developers believe it will be a ‘lynchpin’ for more expansion in the area.
Story and photos by Ashlee Green
The new Comfort Inn & Suites in Pittsburgh’s Northside is now officially open. A ribbon cutting ceremony took place on Thursday, Dec. 3, and John Elash, of hotel developer October Development, along with several other affiliated representatives, spoke to a small crowd about what the day meant to him.
Elash said it was also his daughter’s 11th birthday, which reminded him that the Comfort Inn & Suites project has been a work-in-progress for about the same length of time. The 96-room hotel was originally expected to open in 2019.
Mark Masterson, executive director of the Northside Community Development Fund, which has a $500K loan in the hotel project, thanked everyone who has been involved in the project from the start and praised the hotel ownership for sticking with it long-term.
Mark Fatla, executive director of the Northside Leadership Conference, likened the people involved in the hotel’s planning and development process to a choir and the completed hotel the final “great performance.”
“The community had a plan for this corner,” he said, and the developers’ plan “dovetailed” with it.
District 1 Councilman Bobby Wilson, who took office back in January, said that it feels great to come into office and have a project completed right away.
Mayor Bill Peduto said the stretch of land where the Comfort Inn & Suites now stands, in the Spring Garden and East Deutschtown neighborhoods of the Northside, can be a “critical part” of what happens throughout the rest of the city.
It is easy to make things happen, he continued, when the community is called upon and there are “no rocks in the river.”
Also in attendance were Allie DePasquale, a partner in October Development, Becky Yago of Dollar Bank, and Isaac Falvey of the Community Alliance of East Deutschtown and Spring Garden.