Interim terms have been agreed for a $250,000 loan to save the old Brick House building on Liberty Street.
The City of Warren Redevelopment Authority has expressed a willingness to loan $250,000 to Tom Christeson, whose company Dewboi Properties has proposed the Wendelboe Hotel along Liberty Street.
RDA Chairman Michael Boyd said he and authority member Gary Sawtelle met with city staff and “came up with a list of terms to present to Mr. Christeson.”
“Although he had success in these projects”, Boyd said, “I wanted to see a personal guarantee on the loan he was willing to make.”
The loan will therefore bear a fixed interest rate of 3.25% over a period of 20 years.
“Tom hopes it can be paid much sooner,” Boyd said, explaining that the conditions will also require quarterly updates from the RDA and the ability for the city to conduct site visits to monitor progress.
Randy Rossey, the city’s code and planning director, said documents for the loan would now be drawn up.
The RDA is “don’t try to make money from it,” Boyd said. “He has his own skin in the game.”
In other cases, the RDA refused to grant a letter of support for a proposed seniors’ residence at the corner of Liberty Street and Pennsylvania Avenue.
“I don’t want to recommend this” Authority member Holly LeMeur said. “I don’t think the location is ideal for that. I don’t think it fits historically with our downtown.
She cited the city’s attempt to secure Build Back Better funding for the project that could see this property become “our downtown’s most valuable property.” She said the “all the lower area” along the river is booming, which will generate interest “in places close to this place.”
Authority member Doug Hearn said he supports the project.
“I believe it can be done in such a way that it looks like part of the historical architecture of the region,” he said. “I think it’s a project that is necessary for housing. I know from many people how difficult it is to find accommodation when you want to downsize.
He said supporting the project would also be a sign of support for the city council, which approved a letter of support.
“I would like to see something happen in this corner” said Hearn.
LeMeur wondered about the materials that will be incorporated into the project.
“I understand that this one doesn’t have such a high price tag” because there is “less real brick on the building.
“We don’t use materials that will last.”
A possible action on the letter is dead for lack of motion.