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  Built at a cost of $5 million, Warren Mayor Jim Fouts called the  Civic Center South a “shot in the arm for the older section of Warren.”

Built at a cost of $5 million, Warren Mayor Jim Fouts called the Civic Center South a “shot in the arm for the older section of Warren.”

Photo by Sarah Purlee

Warren welcomes Civic Center South

By: Brian Louwers | Warren Weekly | Published October 18, 2019


WARREN — Warren’s new Civic Center South is now open for business on Van Dyke Avenue, north of Nine Mile Road.

The 11,022-square-foot complex, which includes a new branch library, a mini City Hall/police station and a special-needs playground, officially opened its doors on Oct. 10 with a three-hour afternoon reception/soft opening.

“This is going to be a shot in the arm for the older section of Warren and should bring more new business activity and jobs to the area,” Warren Mayor Jim Fouts said.

Ground was broken on the long-vacant site on the west side of Van Dyke, between Lozier and Continental avenues, in October 2017. The property was acquired years ago by Warren’s Tax Increment Finance Authority.

City officials said the cost of the development totaled $5 million, which included the land allocation and $1.5 million through the TIFA, $1 million from Warren’s Brownfield Redevelopment Authority and $2.5 million from the Warren Public Library’s budget. Amenities, including the playground and an aquarium, were supplemented by $100,000 in business donations.

“We’re really excited about that. We’re getting the keys tomorrow, which means it’s substantially complete,” said Tom Bommarito, director of Warren’s Department of Community, Economic & Downtown Development.

Bommarito said a second phase of the project will add a new fire station on adjacent property, where the Habitat for Humanity ReStore is currently. Construction of the fire station, which will replace Station 1 on Nine Mile, across from Lincoln High School, will cost about $4 million.     

The new library at the Civic Center South complex replaces the old Maybelle Burnette Branch Library on Van Dyke, south of Nine Mile. That property, Bommarito said, could eventually become the new home of the Habitat for Humanity ReStore if an agreement can be reached and plans come to fruition.