Economic Development

Chamber, Niles Join to Redevelop Properties

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The Youngstown Warren Regional Chamber and the city of Niles have launched a property redevelopment program that uses a study recently completed by Youngstown State University, the chamber announced Monday.

The study, led by volunteers from the Avenue & Main community group and the YSU Regional Economic Development Initiative, identified abandoned and tax-delinquent properties throughout Niles that could be put back to productive use.

“The study and subsequent program will enable us to put these properties back on the tax rolls,” said Jeff Crowley, Niles housing and zoning code enforcement officer. “In some cases, this means repopulating the city with an influx of young homeowners. In other cases, it means creating opportunities for commercial and industrial development.”

The program is part of a contract between Niles and the chamber in which both are exploring county and state resources to make parcels more attractive for investment. These include expanding the Trumbull County Planning Commission’s reinvestment areas, making use of the Planning Commission’s tax-increment financing program, and potential state and federal resources through the Eastgate Regional Council of Governments.

Guiding this effort is a comprehensive plan the planning commission compiled in 2003, chamber officials said. Among the goals is to improve road and utility infrastructure to accommodate additional business growth.

“This is the ongoing prep work that is required to ensure the future success of any community,“ said Sarah Boyarko, the Regional Chamber senior vice president for economic development. “Available properties, local economic development resources and an aggressive approach are keys to winning a deal. If you don’t have your ducks in a row for a rapid response or proactive approach, it’s very challenging to secure an investment. The competition is very real.”

Pictured above: downtown Niles.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.