LOS ANGELES (WKBN) – A company that wants to invest in the Valley held a ribbon cutting in Los Angeles Friday, with Warren Mayor Doug Franklin present.
Auto Parkit creates fully-automated car garages that are especially in high demand in urban areas where parking is a premium.
CEO Christopher Alan is a Warren native and wants to build a plant on the old Delphi site to create parts for his garages — a feat he said could bring up to 1,000 well-paying jobs to the area.
About 500 people came to Friday’s ribbon cutting of a new Auto Parkit garage in LA’s Helms Bakery District — including Mayor Franklin.
“It makes it real when you can actually see, feel, and touch the actual product and see how much excitement is generated in the Los Angeles area because it’s the largest one in Los Angeles,” he said.
John Molinterno, executive director of the Western Reserve Port Authority, was also in LA Friday.
“Until you see it in person, you don’t realize the tremendous amount of engineering, architecture, and technology that has gone into building this facility,” Molinterno said.
An Auto Parkit garage parks and retrieves cars automatically.
Molinterno said both the city and Alan are hopeful Warren will get a plant.
However, Franklin pointed out there is still work to be done before that happens.
“I’m a realist. We still have some hurdles to clear,” he said.
He was among the people who spoke to the crowd at the ribbon cutting in LA.
“I just talked about — we’re very excited about the future and how we plan to partner, not only with Chris Alan but the City of Culver and Los Angeles, and because there are a lot of orders this way of the country,” Franklin said.
WKBN 27 First News talked with Auto Parkit owner Christopher Alan in February. He said Warren could have those jobs within ten years if the project pans out. If the Delphi property doesn’t work out, Alan has already purchased other land near Warren where he could build instead.