In the 1700s the Colony of Connecticut claimed a portion of land in northeast Ohio as their own. This land was eventually bought, and the city of Warren was born. At the time of its creation, four acres of land were set aside to become the center of the community as a village square. This village square remains the center of the community and is known as the historic Courthouse Square Park.
In the 20th century Warren welcomed industrial growth. The town’s population grew by 144 percent in ten years from 1910 to 1920, making it Ohio’s fastest growing city at the time.
After the steel industry collapse of the 1970s, Warren found itself in economic distress like many cities. Warren has since bounced back and created economic growth in several industries outside of manufacturing.
BRITE is located in a downtown on Courthouse Square, which is part of the historic Western Reserve. The building is close to restaurants, apartments and other amenities and is also within sight of the Mahoning River, which is a regional priority for remediation and recreational access. BRITE is ideal for walkable urban living that is attractive to not just young professionals but mid-career professionals returning home or moving to areas of the country with lower cost of living. Of unique note, Dave Grohl Alley runs through the facility, creating a covered tunnel that is utilized for outdoor events like food truck festivals and concerts. Dave Grohl Alley is often the most highly visited tourist attraction in Trumbull County and receives dozens of visitors daily.
Prior to the pandemic, BRITE attracted freelancers and partners of traveling healthcare professionals that needed high-quality internet at all hours of the day. The facility houses colocation equipment and servers for internet providers and companies because it sits on Everstream fiber, which was laid through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. This project is part of the At Work Appalachia coworking passport, an initiative to attract and retain remote white-collar workers across Appalachian Ohio.
As the project is set to attract remote workers, the second floor of the facility will include coworking spaces. On the first floor, there will be a restaurant and coffee shop, which will also serve the catering needs of industry and workforce training providers utilizing the facility. There is also a brewery in the building, which has never not brought a smile to the face of an adult touring the facility for the first time.
BRITE serves multiple purposes; the renovation will further uplift and increase the confidence of the Mahoning Valley in attraction and retention efforts as a true Industry 4.0 work and creative space with its various amenities and multiple use cases. It will be transformed into a bright and inviting space, very different from any corporate training facility, office space, or lab in the tri-county area. The renovation will allow for energy efficiency, natural light and increase in air circulation and other building principles that are not common for the dated and underinvested office/commercial spaces currently in the market. Activating the storefront and creating a world-class showcase on the first floor will further make BRITE a destination for anyone curious about seeing and touching Appalachian-made electric vehicles, smart electronics, and other technologies.
BRITE’s headquarters will serve as the hub to unleash eh energy revolution throughout Appalachia. This facility will serve as the central command of a larger network for rapidly advancing energy technology creation, investment and deployment throughout Appalachian Ohio. This facility will host a lending library of equipment that can be used for piloting and demonstrating new technologies as well as workforce training. The plug and play equipment can be moved throughout Appalachian Ohio with support from BRITE staff. Additionally, BRITE will participate in a coworking passport that will allow members of five other coworking spaces across Appalachian Ohio to have reciprocal membership at BRITE.