WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – A Warren native is still hoping his plan to open a plant in Warren and employ up to 1,000 people in his hometown will move forward.
WKBN 27 First News first learned about Christopher Alan’s project in October of 2015. The Warren Western Reserve and Youngstown State graduate owns Auto Parkit, a company that makes parking machines to fit more cars where there is little space.
Alan wants to engineer and build the parking units at Warren’s old Delphi plant on Dana Street.
He said within ten years, 750 to 1,000 people will be working in the Warren plant — many of them high-paid engineers.
“I’m hopeful — I’m not confident, but I’m hopeful — that that is still going to move forward, that the seller sees the virtue,” he said.
There were environment issues at the old Delphi plants but Alan said all of it seems to have been resolved.
Buying the plant from the current owner is still an issue, though.
“I didn’t wreck the site, I didn’t do the environmental damage, I didn’t start to tear it down without permits, I don’t owe the back taxes, I don’t owe any of that stuff,” Alan said. “Correct it, and I want to buy it and move forward.”
Auto Parkit makes parking machines where vehicles are stacked automatically. They are in-demand in large urban areas where parking is a premium.
Even if no deal can be made for the Delphi property, he still plans to build elsewhere around Warren.
“I’ve purchased another property so I have a fallback plan. Now realistically, the other property I bought, from a size standpoint of land, is big enough to facilitate what I need but I would have to build some new buildings.”
He said that would cost more money and is not ideal.
Auto Parkit has built two units in Los Angeles so far. One at a building Alan owns across from Warner Brothers Studios and a second at a residential apartment building. The company will unveil its third — also in LA — next month.
More and more developers are interested in Auto Parkit units, which is why Alan needs to expand.