WARREN A preservationist known for the restoration of historic buildings throughout the region describes the city's downtown as "like a Norman Rockwell painting."
Steve Coon, a co-owner of the Legacy Group, said he hopes to use his expertise to restore the historic Packard House Apartments, 318 North Park Ave., while updating them to attract upscale people.
"We want people living downtown. We want them going to restaurants, going to art galleries and bringing life to the area after 6 p.m. We want to see people walking their dogs at 5 a.m. in the morning," Coon said.
The Akron-based Legacy Group purchased the apartments three years ago for $55,000 and immediately spent another $85,000 to replace its roof and board up the building.
"We were excited about getting the building," Coon said. "I look at downtowns in communities throughout the state and Warren's downtown is one of the best in historic value. The Packard House Apartments is part of the downtown's historic fabric."
George Piscsalko, president Main Street Warren, said the group plans to turn the now 32-apartment building back to the 16-suite luxury it was originally built to be for children of the Packard family.
Interest in restoring the grandeur of the building peaked last year when the city's Resident Advisory Committee presented the administration a list of 10 projects its members believed would help reinvigorate the city's growth. The restoration of the Packard House Apartments was one of the 10 items.
Other projects included developing a marketing plan for the city, the creation of an education and medical corridor on East Market Street, developing the riverfront peninsula, rehabbing the Robins Theater, expanding the bike trail and developing the former Mahoningside Power Plant property on Summit Street.
Read more about the plans and other projects in the Sunday Tribune Chronicle.