RDA refines Brick House loan terms | News, Sports, Jobs


The City of Warren Redevelopment Authority continues to refine its offer to a developer to preserve the former Brick House building on Liberty Street.

Last month, the RDA agreed to a loan of up to $250,000 with Tom Christeson, whose company DewBoi Properties has proposed the Weldelboe Hotel, an 18-room boutique hotel in the former Watt office building on Liberty Street.

Randy Rossey, the city’s director of codes and planning, told the RDA that Christeson was more interested in a fixed loan than another arrangement, such as a revolving line of credit or a construction loan.

Christeson told the RDA last month that 75% of the building could be saved. “The original building looks pretty solid,” he said. But a rear part has a 20 foot hole in the roof and “is absolutely not salvageable.”

“I anticipate this being part of the hotel,” he said. “There are a lot of possibilities but that’s really the ultimate goal.”

The RDA agreed to form a negotiating team – members Michael Boyd and Gary Sawtelle – to work out the final terms to be brought to the next meeting.

BEECH STREET PROPERTY DISCUSSED

The RDA also discussed for the first time a property at 306 Prospect St. that made its way through the city’s ruined property process.

Zoning and Ordinance Enforcement Manager Scott Taylor said the property is owned by an LLC and he has “no open line of communication with them.”

He said the property is currently tied to a civil lawsuit in Allegheny County.

“This property here that I stumbled upon would be a prime candidate for possible demolition if the city is able to acquire it,” he said. “The rehabilitation costs of this property will far exceed” which is reasonable. “It’s a very nice lot.”

Lawyer Andrea Stapleford said the case was linked to predatory lending and the RDA should wait and see the outcome of the case before moving forward.



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