Improvement to parking deck walkway to be complete this year
By Ed Runyan
Warren Councilman Greg Bartholomew says a walkway through the building owned by Paul Clouser, owner of National Fire Repair, to improve access to the Franklin Street Parking Deck could be complete as early as this summer.
Bartholomew, who owns the Courthouse Square business All-American Cards and Comics, said members of the downtown organization Main Street Warren discussed the idea at a meeting last week.
“It looks like it will be done by the summer or fall,” Bartholomew said.
The parking deck, one block south of West Market Street, receives relatively little use, Bartholomew said.
Providing people with a more direct route between the parking deck and Courthouse Square is likely to increase use of the deck and increase the number of people doing business downtown, Bartholomew said.
National Fire Repair and Clouser’s home are in a building at 141 West Market Street and have access to David Grohl Alley and the parking deck in the back.
Clouser has been renovating the first floor of the building in recent years for a Warren office of National Fire Repair. A grand opening for the office and showroom is planned for March, Clouser said.
The “walk-through” connection would be located in a vacant section on the first-floor of the building. It would be 8 feet wide and 100 feet long with doors on each side.
Mayor Doug Franklin has set aside funding to help Clouser with the cost of the project, Bartholomew said.
Main Street Warren is also hoping to promote downtown living by making a presentation on downtown living.
The presentation will show what types of renovations are possible in downtown structures by showing the ones Clouser and Bartholomew have already carried out, Bartholomew said.
Main Street also plans to work with the nonprofit organization Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership to develop an inventory to make information more readily available on downtown commercial and residential property.
There are about 20 spaces on the upper floors of buildings on Courthouse Square and further along Market Street that could be renovated and used for apartments, Bartholomew said.
Clouser said there are about 30 people, including him, who live in buildings on Courthouse Square.