Lorain County moves forward
with depot redevelopment

This article originally appeared in The Chronicle-Telegram a daily newspaper based in Elyria (Lorain County) on May 31, 2002. It was written by Kristin Yarbrough.

commissioners put a plan to renovate a vacant train depot on the fast track Thursday.

Elyria plans to make the old New York Central train depot an intermodal transportation hub.

When completed, residents will be able to catch an Amtrak passenger train, a Greyhound bus or a Lorain County Transit bus at the old New York Central train depot at 40 East Avenue, county administrator James Cordes said.

The depot, which would be an intermodal transportation hub similar to Lorains Grove Site project, also would contain retail shops, a small transportation-related museum and a bicycle path connection. An office for LCT would also be located in the depot.

Commissioners voted to allow the county prosecutor to draw up a contract with Second Generation Properties of Cleveland to prepare plans to renovate the depot. They will vote on the contract next week.

The plan will let commissioners know how much it will cost to renovate the depot before beginning the project, Commissioner David Moore said.

Were not going to have any surprises. This document is going to tell us how much it will cost to renovate the train station, he said.

Second Generation also will suggest possible funding sources for the project.

Commissioners advanced $99,000 of county funds to use as matching money for a federal grant to prepare the renovation plans.

Federal transportation funds will repay 80 percent of the cost, and the rest is likely to be reimbursed with state transportation funds, said officer Tom Ferguson, chief financial of LCT.

Second Generation expects to draw up the plans in the next 90 days so the county can access federal funding available from U.S. Sens. George Voinovich and Mike DeWine, both R-Ohio, to pay for the renovations, Cordes said.

The county has asked the senators to seek discretionary transportation funds for the project, Ferguson said. Senators divvy up the discretionary money each year.

Federal funds could cover up to 100 percent of the renovations, which are expected to run between $3.5 million and $4.5 million, Cordes said. Renovations should be done by the beginning of 2005.

Renovations will include restoring the ornate lobby, connection with the adjacent Amtrak lines and making the facility handicapped-accessible.

Commissioners purchased the train station in December 2000.


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Copyright 2002-2003

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