By Ed Runyan
Demolition is underway on a former office building on East Market Street on land that soon will be owned by Trumbull County commissioners.
Commissioner Paul Heltzel said part of the purchase agreement for the former First Place Bank Building at the corner of East Market Street and Pine Avenue was for the building at 255 E. Market to be demolished and the property paved.
It is one of about 22 parcels the county is acquiring along with the former bank building. Some of the land is directly behind the bank. Most of the rest is one block east. The county paid $750,000 for the former bank and land.
Together, the approximately 22 parcels make up close to a city block of space, depending on how a city block is defined, Heltzel said.
Some of the space is now used as public parking across from the U.S. Post Office on High Street; some was bank parking. Other space is occupied by Community Solutions, Expert Tire, the Masonic Lodge and Evaline’s Bridal, and that will remain with the current owners.
The county will close on the purchase of the building and land in the coming weeks, but the Trumbull County Recorder’s Office has been working for several weeks now to install shelving units in the basement of the former bank building. The units will hold county records.
The building being demolished was the former home of the accounting firm of Hill, Barth & King. It suffered significant water damage during a flood last summer and “hasn’t been used for quite some time,” Heltzel said.
It is almost directly across Market Street from the Gibson Building, which Warren acquired recently to house several city departments.
Some of the parking across from the post office is fenced off to aid in the renovation of the adjacent Warner House apartments, but that space will return to parking when the project is complete, Heltzel said.
Most of the vacant space will be for parking for now, but it will be available for possible future use by the county or could be used for other types of development, Heltzel added.