There was a very interesting proposal written about in the Tribune last Friday but you may not have seen it as it was kind of buried on page 4B and was not originally on the Trib web site. It’s there now and you can read it by clicking here. The article reports on a proposal from the DiPaolo Development Group which owns the old Packard/Delphi offices on Dana. They want the city to take 50,000 square feet of a redevelopment they plan for the site and use it as the new City one-stop offices. They have already made a proposal to some City Council members; I also found a letter from Sergio DiPaolo to the Tribune over a year ago making a similar proposal: August 2011 letter to the editors
I can’t really imagine this proposal will fly as is; it only lowers the cost of the one-stop by $1 million compared to building a brand new building, not nearly a big enough savings for the concept’s critics as was pointed-out by Mayor Franklin in the article. And yet the DiPaulo proposal is very interesting as it proposes to use the one-stop as a catalyst for additional development. They propose an office condominium with a wellness center, a restaurant and a running track among the amenities. There isn’t anything like this in Warren now and it would be an exciting addition to the city if well executed.
So while it probably won’t fly as currently conceived this proposal may be something that can be built upon and shaped into something that will work.
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On another important matter, according to Julie Greene, of the Trumbull County Planning Commission, the county program to use the last of the NSP III money to demolish houses is underway. About 80 houses in the county including more than 30 in the city of Warren are targeted for demo. About half of them require some level of asbestos remediation. This program is funded by HUD and is not the Moving Ohio Forward program funded by the Ohio Attorney General and Warren city funds which will demolish at least a few hundred houses. The City Council is reviewing the strategic plan for those demos in a public meeting tomorrow at 4:00 p.m. in the Council caucus room.