WARREN, Pa. – Downtown development in the City of Warren is always a subject of great interest among community members and business owners.
Along those lines, the Warren County Chamber of Business and Industry has launched the ‘Trestle to Trestle Task Force,’ which seeks to look at all areas of development in the downtown area.
“It came about as we talked internally at the chamber, about how we as an organization get engaged in moving the downtown development process forward,” said Warren County Chamber of Business and Industry President/CEO Jim Decker. “We met with the city and thought maybe this would be a more effective way to look at development as a broader group.”
The area of focus is right in the name, spanning the railroad trestles that cross the Allegheny River on the east and west ends of Warren.
Recently, there has been much discussion about the proposed hotel project in the city. While that wasn’t the reason for creating this task force, it did play a role.
“There’s been a lot of public pushback against the hotel,” Decker said. “But this is not a means of getting rid of the hotel project. We’re not trying to thwart any development projects and the hotel will continue to have a dialogue.”
As Decker alluded to, part of the goal of the task force is a development plan that achieves success in completing projects that are beneficial to everyone.
“We’ll be looking at what collaborates and supports the existing businesses and what the community is looking for,” Decker said. “There is vacant property that needs to be fixed. The city has done a great job with streetscape and we need to continue that. There are opportunities for new businesses with vacant property. It’s an area that deserves more attention and will get it.”
The task force will exist of 15 members. The final composition of the Task Force membership will be determined in the coming weeks.
“We have to look at all the properties,” Decker said. “There are lots of opportunities to get a broader brush look. This is about group planning and what makes sense to each other. We’re not looking to step on another business to create business. That’s not effective. Every idea can’t be pursued to the end, but having that dialogue in a different venue is important to move forward. Development is tough. There are vital pieces of property that will have a great impact on the future of the community with a great deal of opportunity.”