By RAYMOND L. SMITH
WARREN DiPaolo Development Corp. is proposing to save the city $1 million in the cost of building a One Stop administration center by moving its proposed location from Courthouse Square to the former Delphi Packard building on Dana Street.
Pavlos P.Pavlidis, an architect with Atekton Architects & Designers in Shaker Heights, presented to members of councils Health and Welfare Committee a proposal in which the 120,000-square-foot former Delphi administration building could be transformed into a business condominium center in which the citys one stop center may be located. Also in the building may be a new restaurant, a wellness center and space of other small businesses looking to purchase space in the building.
The city will buy 50,000 square feet of the building, Pavlidis said. DDC also will build a new 10,000- square-foot wellness center and give it to the city.
An outdoor running track is being designed into the plan. A new daycare also is in the plan.
Pavlidis said one of the benefits of moving the administration to the Delphi Buildings is it will stretch the downtown area northwest.
Earlier this year, the administration presented a plan to city council in which a new one-stop administration building would be built from the ground up on East Market Street at the old Martin Chevrolet location. The city owns the land.
The cost of a new, fully furnished building was projected to be $10.5 million.
We are not talking about the development of one building, Pavlidis said. We are looking at the development of two city blocks. With this project the city would be looking at bringing in new tax revenues, because we also would be looking at bringing in other businesses onto the site.
The buildings renovation would give it the highest level of energy efficiency.
In addition DiPaolo Corp. would downsize the 500,000-square-foot building across the street to about 300,000 square feet for business development and provide warehousing space.
We will be bring in tax dollars, he said.
Pavlidis said the group also would consider tearing down dilapidated housing in the area at cost.
Sergio DiPaolo is an owner of DiPaolo Development Corp., which purchased the former Delphi Corp. buildings in January 2011.
Councilman Fiore Dippolito described the proposal as something to consider, but was non committal to the plan.
I dont know whether it fit the model of what was discussed before, he said. It doesnt meet the criteria of being downtown, although it is relatively close to the downtown area.
Whatever happens I hope it is successful in attracting other kinds of for profit businesses, Dippolito said.
Councilman Vincent Flask called the presentation to council impressive, but adds he is not sure he agrees with either the plan or the financials.
They are trying to sell a One Stop idea that takes city government out of downtown, Flask said. I like expanding downtowns, but I think it can be done easier from the inside out. Im not sure this is the best option.
Councilman Helen Rucker called the proposal a bit overwhelming.
I wanted to see where the city fit into the project, Rucker said. What Im concerned about is the city for the last 20 years has been talking about growing the downtown area, streamlining city services and making them accessible. Im not sure if this does that.
Rucker also questioned paying $9.5 million for the One Stop and then having to pay condominium management fees.
This is another alternative for us to consider, she said.
While suggesting this is more of an administration decision, Councilman John Brown likes the suggestion that the company suggested placing a wellness center into the building regardless whether the city is involved or not.
Councilman Eddie Colbert said he appreciates the proposal, but suggested asking $9.5 million to renovate an existing building seems a bit high.
Mayor William Doug Franklin said it is always a great benefit to see businesses retrofitting existing buildings.
I wish there had been a smaller outlay of dollars, Franklin said. It is almost the same amount we proposed for building a new facility in our original proposal.
Franklin also would prefer having the citys government center in the center of the city.
Im pleased they looked comprehensively and part of their plan is to renovate the two city blocks as well as other nearby neighborhoods, Franklin said.
The administration plans to present other proposals to council within the next 10 days.