Groundbreaking on a new 70-bed, four-story hotel off Routes 11-15 behind Sheetz in Monroe Township began Wednesday.

The building of the Central Susquehanna Thruway which will include a nearby interchange was a major incentive for building the Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott hotel at the site off Old Susquehanna Trail, said owner Todd Millett, of Millett Real Estate.

"If there wasn't a need, I wouldn't be building a hotel," he said at the afternoon groundbreaking event.

The company initially pitched the hotel in 2013 to be built in Monroe Marketplace between Kohl's Department Store and Buffalo Wild Wings Grill and Bar.

That plan faltered in 2017 and Millett said the new site was found within the township.

"Now that we're here, we feel this site is better," he said, indicating the proximity to the planned bypass interchange and Susquehanna University.

Todd Ross, president of T-Ross Brothers Construction, said the building should be completed by the end of April 2020.

Project manager Matt Erwine, of T-Ross Brothers, said the hotel should open the following month.

"Clean and modern," is how architect Stephanie Egan, of Meister-Cox Architects in Wyomissing, described the decor of the "high-end" hotel.

Engineer Justin Ross, the co-founder of Livic Civil, said the project is the first for his Monroe Township-based firm that began in October 2017 with two employees and today has 14 on the payroll.

Millett said the area "will benefit" from having a Marriott hotel that will employ about 25 and said his firm owns and operates eight other hotels across Pennsylvania, including Hampton Inn in Lewisburg.

"We build, own, operate and hold on to our assets," he said.

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