WARREN Councilman pursues idea for outlet shops downtown

The consultant usually works with a developer or a landowner.
WARREN -- Talks are preliminary, but a councilman hopes to see outlet shops downtown.
Councilman Robert Holmes III, D-4th, is pursuing the idea of a shopping outlet.
Holmes; Councilman Dan Polivka, D-at large; Michael Keys, city community development director; state Sen. Marc Dann; Eric Thompson, co-chairman of the Downtown Warren Business Association; and Mike Maggiano of Trumbull 100 participated in a conference call Friday afternoon with Carleton Meyers, president of Factory Outlet Consultants of Burke, Va.
Meyers stressed that the call was preliminary, just to see if there might be some interest.
Suggested site
Holmes said the east side of the city's downtown is a possible site for outlet stores.
"We're definitely interested, or we wouldn't be talking to you," Polivka said.
Meyers said an outlet mall usually includes 25 to 40 stores of 1,500 square feet to 2,500 square feet each. He asked about the availability of space along highways, the amount of tourist traffic. He also wants the city to provide information about space that might be available and a map of the city.
What it will cost
Meyers said he typically doesn't work with communities; he usually works with a landowner or developer. He said it would cost the city $2,400 plus travel and other expenses for him to visit the city.
After that, the costs could run between $5,000 and $25,000, depending on what needs to be done, he said.
Keys asked Meyers to provide the city with references from people or companies with whom he's worked.
"I think this is a doable thing," Holmes said.
Keys agrees it's doable but wants to gather more information before determining whether to pursue it through the Virginia company.

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