Public Notices

Letter to the editor:

Citizens of Warren

Last month I held a press conference seeking authorization from the city council to apply for a 2.5 million dollar cleanup grant from the State of Ohio. The purpose of this grant is for asbestos removal and eventual demolition of a major public safety hazard and eyesore on the city’s Northwest side; the property site of Riverside Square is often referred to as the Former St. Joseph Riverside Hospital.

The purpose of this letter is to thank everyone involved in getting us to this point of finally being able to address this significant challenge, but more importantly, provide historical context on how we got here.

This property, which sits on 13 acres in a residential neighborhood, was originally developed in 1934 with the construction of the first building.  Major additions from 1942 through 1994 grew to the present size of over 271,000 square feet of floor space, plus an additional 3,000 sq. feet of utility space. In 1995 Humility of Mary (HM Health Services) began moving operations to Warren General Hospital. On the city’s East, its present location, now called and known as St. Joseph’s Hospital.

It needs to be made clear and I wish to emphasize that the Humility of Mary Health Services or Mercy Health St. Joseph’s Hospital did not walk away and abandon the facility.  They were the last truly responsible owners of the property.

The fact is that the property was sold in 1997 to Rivreside Square Inc. with the concept of converting the building into a professional office space.  It was then sold by Riverside Square to PKAM LLC in 2003 which in a short time filed for bankruptcy.  The property was then transferred to Fairview Commercial Lending and was subsequently to Euro-American Finance Network in 2010 and left abandoned.  The City of Warren officially condemned the building In 2012 which, ironically, was my first year serving as Mayor and became and still remains a top priority of my tenure in office.

So once again it was not Mercy Health (St. Joseph Hospital) that abandoned the property, which led to its current condition. Quite frankly, having experienced first-hand corporations that have filed bankruptcy and simply walk away from these often dangerous toxic eyesores, for communities to deal with and address, 

I am thankful that when St. Joseph’s Mercy Health decided to move its operations in 1995, they chose to remain in our city and have continued to serve our citizens and the Greater Warren Area ever since.

To date, Mercy Health/St. Joseph’s Hospital remains as one of our top employers and is a valued corporate partner, whom I've had the pleasure of collaborating with on several public health initiatives, including but not limited to the establishment of Eds & Meds corridor within the city and the COVID 19 Pandemic Collaborative and many other initiatives regarding public health.  In fact, they currently have a presence next to the former Hospital with its Urgent Care facility.

As Mayor, I believe it is important to know and understand the true history of this property and acknowledge the facts.  

Through perseverance and with the help of many partners, both public and private we can finally see the light at the end of this tunnel for which I am truly grateful.

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