A multi-million dollar project to bring more housing and more people to downtown Warren is in limbo. 

A group called Fund for Warren’s Future is in talks of plans to build affordable housing, commercial spaces and a parking garage in downtown Warren. The project has been dubbed the Warren Peninsula Project.

“It's a great opportunity to change the narrative and conversation about our city,” Doug Franklin, Mayor of the City of Warren said.  

But the group can’t acquire the land or do any construction until they get the millions in funding that they’ve requested from several entities. 

Fund for Warren’s Future asked the Warren City Council for $2,000,000 of its ARPA funds for their project. 

“The city will be committing that funds in the later this quarter so that will probably be in March sometime,” Micheal O'Brien, Warren City Councilman At-Large said. 

The group also requested a separate $2,000,000 in ARPA funds from the Trumbull County Commissioners. 

21 News asked all three commissioners when they plan to take up the funding and when the public can expect a decision. 

“Though it’s a viable project, I don’t agree with skipping over all of the township infrastructure requests that were submitted on time,” Commissioner Niki Frenchko said in a statement. “The decision for remaining ARPA appropriations should be made publicly, at a special meeting where we evaluate ALL remaining applications.”

“I believe this is a project that the board must act on. With the investments in Downtown Warren, Lordstown and now the announcement of Kimberly Clark, we must work together on this transformation. A modernized and vibrant county seat benefits the entire community,” Commissioner Mauro Cantalamessa said in a statement. 

Commissioner Denny Malloy did not respond to our request for comment. 

The biggest portion of funding would come from the Appalachian Community Grant Program. The project is part of a larger application submitted to the program. The approximate amount of funding the project requested is $25,000,000. The program said the decision of whether to approve or deny the application will be announced in the next few months. 

The Warren Peninsula Project would entail 200 affordable housing units and 100,000 sq. ft. of commercial retail space and a parking garage, according to O’Brien. He said with the uptick in manufacturing businesses in Lordstown, they need to build more housing for young professionals that are taking jobs there.

“Studies have been done that young professionals like to live in downtown. They like to be recreated, they like to go to downtown restaurants, they like to go to downtown breweries and bars and this is actually ideal,” O’Brien said. 

Mayor Franklin said the project has been nearly 13 years in the making. It ties in with several other city projects that focus on revitalizing downtown. 

“It's the core of our community and if you look at a lot of successful cities a lot of the natural growth has started with their central core central business district,” Mayor Franklin said. 

“This particular project is a game changer for the future of Warren,” O’Brien said. “It will finally connect the downtown with the westside of Warren and it'll make Warren a destination place.”

The site that could potentially be the future home to this development currently sits empty. It was cleared out by the Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership and the Warren Redevelopment and Planning Corporation with a grant that they secured. The lot was cleared as a beautification project for the city. If Fund for Warren’s Future secures their funding they would have the option to buy the land, but have not done so yet.