Developer gets Warren council's attention saying he will no longer invest
A major Warren developer and investor's letter saying he is walking away from future investments has city council's attention. Officials say they regret it got to this point, but they're willing to work to address problems.
Wednesday, January 18th 2023, 10:53 PM EST
A major Warren developer and investor's letter saying he is walking away from future investments has city council's attention.
Officials say they regret it got to this point, but they're willing to work to address problems in hopes of restoring a relationship.
Downtown Development Group owner Mark Marvin invested Millions into rebuilding the historic Robbins Theater, buying and renovating Buildings around the courthouse square, apartments, and a restaurant winery.
He found Warren's process not developer friendly but frustrating for an investor wanting to improve the city.
Marvin noted ignored blight such as the closed Burger King on South Main.
He says the city is overdue on opening Dana Street believing the city has been catered to the developer whose project for an auto park it has not come to fruition.
The developer also cites the failure to pressure others to improve properties they have purchased.
Councilman Ken Macpherson says this is unacceptable.
"We just recently got a letter from our biggest investor, a private investor in the city saying he is sick and tired of the city being run like garbage and he's going
to stop investing money in the city of Warren until there is a change," Councilman Ken MacPherson said.
In an E-mail, Marvin stated the "City Council and this Administration has lost an ally as it pertains to development and progression of this beautiful downtown square.
Council members 21 News talked with say they never saw the first 7-page letter sent by email to the administration but found out about
it after a second e-mail was sent on January 16th.
We were unable to reach Mayor Doug Franklin who is at a mayor's conference.
Councilwoman Cheryl Saffold says after receiving the recent E-mail she called Mark Marvin and left a message for him.
"Had I seen the letter I would have phoned him or e-mailed him specifically at that time to discuss the issues," Councilwoman Saffold said.
Saffold tells 21 News she will call a meeting to address blight and to find solutions to problems in the city.
"I think it's vital we work with all of our allies, all of our investors, and I applaud the efforts of Mr. Marvin. He has invested millions of his own money in the city of Warren. Again so we are hoping and praying we can resolve these issues and he can remain an ally and friend to the city of Warren. It is our job to fix problems, address them and move forward," Saffold emphasized.