WARREN - Clover Management Inc. is pulling out of a plan to build a $10 million, four-story senior housing complex on North Road, according to City Councilman Vince Flask, D-5th Ward.
"I was told they are going to place their first Ohio senior complex in the Cleveland area," said Flask, who was sponsoring legislation to change the zoning in the area from residential to senior citizen multi-family housing.
Area residents had been fighting the zoning change in hopes of stopping the building of the 120-unit apartment complex at 907 North Road.
Critics of the plans complained that adding that many apartments to the area would significantly increase traffic on North Road, destroy sensitive wetlands, risk government subsidized housing being introduced to the area, and provide opportunities for undesirable elements moving around a local Howland school building.
Council tabled voting on the change to discuss those issues.
"Although the company said it is are not going forward at this time, the representative I spoke with said the decision has nothing to do with actions of the city of Warren or the concerns expressed by current North Road residents," Flask said. "It was two internal issues."
Flask said the company remains interested in Warren.
Mayor Doug Franklin expressed disappointment at loss of the development.
"The legislation (for the zone change) should have been allowed to run its course," Franklin said.
Kenneth Kokrack, whose family owns 907 North Road, asked the council to making the zone change anyway because Clover Management Inc. is not totally out of the picture. Flask said the city does not do zone changes without having a specific project to attach the change.
"I told Mr. Kokrack if he brings another project, we will bring the zone change from table," Flask said.
Jessica Hipple, one of the women who led the fight against the complex, said this will be a victory for the little people.
"We've never been against the project," Hipple said. "We were always against the location. We were concerned with the fact that the company came in and worked with the councilman who said he would no longer represent one of his constituents.''
Hipple said she spoke to a Clover Management representative last week about its decision to delay putting a development in Warren.
"I was told they would be in the area sometime after Christmas, so my husband and I volunteered to show them other locations around the city where this type of development would better blend into the neighborhoods," Hipple said.
Flask said he would be happy to continue to work with the company in getting the complex built in Warren.
"While I would have liked to have seen it built in my ward, it is more important that a project of this size be built somewhere in the city," Flask said.