Judging from Mayor Mark Phillips' comments with regard to the possibility of Warren divesting itself of some or several unused city-owned properties -a suggestion in which we find ourselves agreeing - he noted a city-owned property that had been earmarked for a portion of the fabled hotel-convention center as a possible candidate.
While divestiture of that property might be complicated by a long-term ground lease to one or more of the stew of development groups concocted by the mythical center's lead developer, its mention in this context seems to indicate that at least the mayor, and perhaps the balance of city government, is convinced the project is dead, never to be resurrected.
Although Warren Hospitality Associates still owns the portion of the former Loranger Building not occupied by Injection Molding Technologies (IMT), and the dream may still be alive somewhere, the city has forwarded to the city solicitor the lease on the djacent vacant lot for study. Could it be that the city might be looking for a doorway from which to escape that lease? As for the building, its private ownership makes it taxable, and that's just fine.
We see no reason for the city to sit on a vacant lot for the next 25 years waiting for a miracle.
When we say that the dream may still be alive somewhere, it's only conjecture. It is apparently dead for the frontman for the project, Tim King.
In response to questions by the Times Observer about the status of the hotel/convention center project, King responded thus: "I am no longer participating on the Warren based projects and can offer you no information or details."
King, so visible just a couple years ago, with regular updates on his plans to convert much of downtown Warren into a sort of Emerald City, had been under the radar for the past few months.
So, we wish the solicitor well in her effort to divine a route to a better use of that vacant lot than just a grim testimonial to Warren's naivete in the face of grand promises - if that's her mission.
Who knows, perhaps Warren Hospitality Associates - if it still lives - would be interested in purchase.
We can only hope, however, that the next time a developer rolls into town with plans that rely on the financial backing of city and state government as "partners," that the trustees of the public till apply the lessons learned from the experience of the recent past.