A law firm says it's leaving downtown because it couldn't find a building with parking to buy.
By DON SHILLING
VINDICATOR BUSINESS EDITOR
YOUNGSTOWN -- The Betras, Maruca & amp; Kopp law firm is relocating from downtown Youngstown to Canfield Township.
The law firm's 15 full-time employees are making the move Friday to 6630 Seville Drive.
Atty. David Betras said he wanted to keep the firm downtown but was unable to find a building that he could buy that had parking.
"It's been my experience that people don't mind coming downtown if they can find a convenient place to park," he said.
He said he has never had a crime problem in 17 years of working downtown and the move wasn't related to the city's income tax. The firm had to move because it was out of space, he said.
Betras said he worked with the Youngstown Central Area Community Improvement Corp. and Realtors but was unable to find a suitable building downtown.
He said he expanded his search to include areas near Youngstown State University and the former Forum Health Southside Medical Center.
The only buildings he was shown were for lease, not sale, or didn't have parking, he said.
Here was the problem
City Councilman Artis Gillam Sr., D-1st, who also is acting chairman of the CIC, said Betras was looking for something that is hard to find. Seldom is there a building in a downtown in any city that has an adjacent parking lot, he said.
Betras shares an office building at 114 E. Front St. with Olsavsky-Jaminet Architects. Betras said his lease has been up for a couple years but he has been paying rent monthly while he looked for another location.
The Mahoning County Bar Association intends to move its three-person staff from 29 E. Front St. to the space being vacated by Betras, said Linda Pregi, the association's executive secretary. Both buildings are owned by Ray Jaminet.
Betras' firm bought 7,000 square feet of office space in Canfield Township, compared with just under 4,000 square feet that it uses in Youngstown.
The firm also has offices in Howland and Calcutta. Betras said he plans to rent a small office in Youngstown so lawyers can have a place to go when they are have trials downtown.