The city needs to have legislative help to obtain the new district.
WARREN -- The downtown revitalization committee will resume its work later this month to create a committee for overseeing the proposed entertainment district.
Councilman and committee chairman Robert Holmes III, D-4th, has called a 6 p.m. July 19 meeting in the council caucus room. Among those to attend are various council members, business owners, development officials and city administrators.
The proposed 492.5-acre entertainment district would include all of downtown Warren and portions of Tod Avenue and Summit Street on the other side of the Mahoning River.
Development of an entertainment district is an element of the downtown's revitalization, and establishing its boundaries is the first step. The idea is to mix a vibrant nightlife with retail, education and residential space to entice young professionals to downtown.
Creation of such districts under state law can allow an area to acquire additional liquor permits if certain guidelines are met. One big requirement is a population of 100,000 -- which Warren doesn't meet.
The city has requested assistance from state Rep. Randy Law of Warren, R-64th, and state Sen. Marc Dann of Liberty, D-32nd, on finding a legislative way to also make Warren fit under the liquor permit requirements for an entertainment district.
Two communities, Youngstown and Sandusky, succeeded in having the Legislature amend the law to include exceptions: $50 million in investment in the immediate area (Youngstown Convocation Center and Powers Auditorium renovation, for example), or having an amusement park in an entertainment district (Cedar Point).
Warren's district would include venues such as the National Packard Museum, W.D. Packard Music Hall and the Warren Amphitheatre that draw patrons to the downtown.