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Italian-American Club saves old fire station

July 2, 2013 

Jeannie Roberts (440) 885-8181 / (216) 346-9935  

PARMA, Ohio - Old World Parma will add an Italian social club to the ethnic flavor of its neighborhood. Parma’s former Fire Station #1, at 7504 Snow Road, has been leased to the Southwest Italian-American Club with terms for ownership after five years.

City officials are supportive of the project for both economic and historical reasons. The new occupant allows a city property with historical significance that has been vacant for six years to be returned to being a productive property.

“This neighborhood’s residents, along with Councilwoman Debbie Lime, have worked hard to establish an identity for Polish Village and Old World Parma,” Mayor Tim DeGeeter said. “The Southwest Italian-American Club is an ideal fit here.”

This latest development has been years in the making – the City, with Council’s approval, transferred the property in 2009 to the Parma Community Improvement Corporation (PCIC).

The Southwest Italian-American Club’s (SIAC) was the sixth serious inquiry into the property – the five previous interested parties ended discussions when they determined that the monetary investment to bring it up to code was not viable for them. The SIAC came forward approximately four months ago and agreed to all terms.

Last week, the SIAC signed a lease agreement with the PCIC and agreed to bring the building up to building code standards within five years. The cost of doing so is estimated at $250,000. In the meantime, the lease cost is $1 per year. If the building is not up to code within five years, ownership reverts back to the PCIC. If the property meets building standards, it will be permanently transferred to the SIAC.

The structure needs a litany of repairs - roofing, electrical upgrades, waterproofing, extensive plaster repairs and a new HVAC system is on the list. Additionally, the SIAC agreed to maintain the Tudor exterior of the building and will maintain full insurance on the property.

“The Italian-American Club is engaged in charitable causes, and has agreed to be cognizant of being part of a neighborhood and wants to be a good neighbor,” Lime said. “This is a big winwin. I look forward to seeing it fully repaired and restored to viability in this part of town.”

The Mayor acknowledged the hard work of Economic Development Director Erik Tollerup, who has actively been marketing the property for four years.