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Council, RDA, Planners eye hotel property acquisition

A combined executive session was held this week aimed at finding a way to create a parcel big enough to bring a hotel to downtown Warren.

Warren City Council and the city’s Redevelopment Authority and Planning Commission met in the closed-door session Tuesday night.

An announcement on last week’s council meeting agenda announced the executive session as for the purpose of “discussion regarding the disposition of City property.”

Discussion on “disposition” or sale of city property in executive session would have violated the Sunshine Law, but City Manager Nancy Freenock clarified on Tuesday that the intent of the session is in fact the exact opposite.

“The meeting tonight is not to address the disposition of City property but rather an informational session about how the City can cobble together sufficient land to accommodate a hotel,” she explained. “The City will have to acquire some additional property and the purchase of real property is an exception to the Sunshine Law.”

Discussions have included city parcels at the base of Liberty Street, a parcel obtained from a prior developer that is currently a concrete pad as well as the possibility of eliminating the Breeze Point Landing park.

“The RDA did execute a(n) Agreement of Sale for a portion of the necessary property but additional land will need to be addressed,” Freenock said.

Back in August at the RDA meeting, there was concern about the developer not wanting to spend on development costs until there was a guarantee of a parcel of an acceptable size.

“There will be a Public Hearing prior to any action being taken by City Council, the RDA or the Planning Commission,” Freenock said, “IF it is demonstrated that piecing together several parcels can be accomplished.”

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