The old and unsightly building that spans three addresses at the west end of the 200 block of Pennsylvania Avenue is like the old dog nobody wants.
There was a time when it was young, a fairly decent building that housed store-front businesses. But, with age, neglect, really bad architectural decisions, and abandonment by the same developer who can't seem to pay the electric bill for heating and cooling properties he still controls in the city, it is an embarrassment to its neighbors and a conundrum for city fathers.
It is now a hulk owned by the City of Warren, producing neither taxes nor opportunity.
There is talk of someone willing to raze the structure and turn the site into a parking lot. One might assume that the expense involved in that process would indicate a private lot. And, since experience with the city's downtown "parking issue" teaches us that few people are willing to pay for parking, one might further assume that said lot would be exclusively for employees of a downtown business.
If that's the case, it is sweetly ironic that the property in question is in the shadow of a half-empty multi-million-dollar public parking garage the city built not so many years ago in the hopes that it would provide downtown employees a parking opportunity for a reasonable fee.
While the property in question is hardly "paradise," the loss of opportunity for business or commercial development in favor of an asphalt slab is mildly reminiscent of Joni Mitchell's "Big Yellow Taxi" refrain about parking lots.
Council is taking a few days to think it over, and there is a good chance it will be discussed once again when councilmen meet again on Monday.