WARREN, Ohio (WYTV) – Warren City Council members were getting calls about not seeing any improvement on the old General Electric building, even though Dana Street is still blocked off.
The response during a meeting on Tuesday was that most of the work is being done on the inside.
The meeting started with a PowerPoint presentation about AUTOParkit and where the company is going.
In the presentation, they said the company is about to build the largest subterranean parking garage deck in the western part of the United States.
“It really, really represents everything that was built here in Warren has been shipped out to Marina Del Rey, California,” said Shawn Adams, vice president of sales and marketing for Dasher Lawless.
The point was to prove that they have made progress, even though the community cannot see it.
“Since we’ve put in a million and a half dollars into GE, that’s where we’re building stuff out of,” AUTOParkit CEO Christopher Alan said. “We’ve put over $700,000 in electrical upgrades in the Packard building into GE.”
Alan said no one uses Dana Street since Packard shut down in 2006.
“The one thing that road closure did do was stop the break-ins, so I didn’t have to continue to spend money again fixing the same thing they were stealing out.”
According to Warren City Law Director Gregory Hicks, that closure is now illegal.
“Those barriers are actually illegal. Right now, every 90 days, you need to come back and say, ‘Keep it blocked,'” Hicks said.
The last vote was in March.
Some council members are worried that the street being closed causes more crime, but Alan is asking for proof of this.
“Show me the reports of the additional vandalism. If that’s what you think, then just show me the reports and show me the additional vandalism,” Alan said. “Since we’ve closed that street, we’ve had one incident of break-ins and one incident of graffiti in over two years.”
When asked about hiring a security team, Alan said it is a 42-acre sight and he does not have the capacity or infrastructure to hire a team at the moment.
It is now up to the council to vote on keeping the road closed for at least another 90 days, but Alan hopes to eventually close Dana Street permanently.