Downtown business owners are glad to see the building's coming down.
By DENISE DICK
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
WARREN -- It's been an eyesore downtown for years, but demolition equipment finally started rolling Thursday at the long-vacant Imperial Motel.
Chris Taneyhill, city building official, declared the dilapidated East Market Street motel a public hazard in December, citing a disconnected fire-alarm system and entryways and staircases that aren't structurally sound among its flaws. Taneyhill listed safety concerns in his declaration.
The owners, Atty. Donald L. Guarnieri, his brother, Albert Guarnieri, and his sister, Lucille McGuire, had appealed that declaration to the Ohio Board of Building Appeals, but ultimately agreed to knock down the building.
The owners hired D.P.M. Paving of Warren, owned by Dante Massacci Jr. and Sr., who have recently be sentenced in federal court for bribing a former city official, to do the work.
The city health board also had condemned the Imperial, saying it was unfit for human habitation, and ordered demolition.
"It's quite an accomplishment," Taneyhill said. "I think everyone in the city will be pleased."
David Forrester, owner of S.A. Barnes on East Market Street, is one of those who falls into the pleased category.
"We're thrilled to see it come down," he said. "It's been an eyesore downtown for a long time."
He hopes to see a new business in its place that will be a positive addition to the cityscape.
Forrester also hopes the Imperial's demolition starts a trend with buildings in disrepair.
"There are several other buildings that I'd like to see come down and even having nothing there would be more beneficial than the buildings that are there now," he said.
Was shut down
The motel has been vacant for about 10 years, and initially was shut down when residents complained it was a haven for prostitution.
"That area, which really is a prime location, is now able to be developed," said Eric Thompson, co-chairman of the Downtown Warren Business Association.
Thompson, who also is co-owner of Satolli Carpet & amp; Floor Covering on High Street, said that any unoccupied building detracts from a city.
"I'd rather see all of the buildings and all of the offices full," he said. "Anything else detracts."
Atty. Guarnieri also owns the Parkman Road Shopping Center, which the city wants demolished.
Taneyhill also listed that as a public hazard, referring to a roof he says is falling in and a disconnected sprinkler system.