Design review board to discuss Chase Bank signs

The discrepancies likely stem from a misunderstanding, a planner said.
WARREN -- Chase Bank has installed a corner sign on its downtown Warren branch that was disapproved by the downtown design review board, together with several signs identifying the building as Chase Tower, which were never presented to the board, said director of the Warren Redevelopment and Planning Corp.
The seven-member board was to meet today in WRAP's offices to discuss the matter, which likely results from a misunderstanding, said Tony Iannucci, director of WRAP, which sponsors the board.
WRAP provides exterior design review services to the city for the central business district, but it does not have enforcement powers, Iannucci said. Enforcement action, if any, would come from the city's engineering, planning and building department, he added.
The design review board approved all but two of 25 signs Chase presented to it, he said. One of the disapproved signs was the corner sign Chase installed. The other disapproved sign, an illuminated sign over the door, was never erected.
"We have a limit on the number of signs on a building," Iannucci explained, noting that the building already has numerous prominent identifying signs.
Compatibility problem
Regardless of the number of signs, the design review board probably would not have approved the corner sign, which projects from the building, on the grounds that it isn't "visually compatible" with the edifice, he said.
Chase proposed to the board white-lettered exterior signs that simply identified the building at 106 E. Market St. as Chase, but, instead, erected black-lettered signs identifying the building as Chase Tower. Had Chase Tower signs been presented to it, the board likely would have approved them, Iannucci said.
In the Mahoning Valley, bank identifying signs were officially changed Monday from Bank One to Chase. The New York-based Chase Bank acquired the Chicago-based Bank One two years ago and has gradually been changing signs throughout the country.
Iannucci said he has been dealing with A1 Expediters, an Indianapolis-based permit acquisition specialist, concerning the Chase signs.
Lorraine Federovitch, Chase's downtown Warren branch manager, said she couldn't comment because she wasn't involved in the design of the Chase signs and hadn't heard of the discrepancies Iannucci referred to until a reporter called her Wednesday afternoon.

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