WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – After decades of talking, there is now a more convenient way for people to park their car and walk in downtown Warren.
The ribbon was cut Friday on The Shortcut, which is a collaborative effort between the public and private sector. It connects the city-owned parking deck in Grohl Alley to Courthouse Square in downtown Warren.
But The Shortcut is not just a hallway. On one side, there is an art gallery. On the other side is a place for shops to go in.
Paul Clouser, who owns the building, said they looked at similar ideas that didn’t work.
“You don’t feel bad about taking The Shortcut because it is an inviting environment. There is a security system, there are patrols going through. It is just a very inviting environment and that is what we tried to shoot for on this,” Clouser said.
The Shortcut already has its first tenant. Shirley Brady plans to open up her new candy store called the Sweet Spot in a couple weeks.
“I looked at other spots on the square. I wanted it down here because every downtown needs a candy store, so when I saw Paul’s new spot, right in the heart of things, it was a no-brainer,” Brady said.
The mayor said The Shortcut is a big piece of the puzzle on the long road of Warren’s revitalization.
On one side of The Shortcut is the $3.1 million Warren Tech Belt, which is currently under construction.
“$2.4 million to the west with the Wean Foundation and we are continuing along that path with Eastern Gateway Community College, so this is a big part of that puzzle and it’s a significant addition,” Warren Mayor Doug Franklin said.
And there are future projects the mayor cannot talk about, but he said the space they have vacant is going quickly.