Economic Development

City OKs $350K Float Loan, Land Deals for Projects

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The city’s Board of Control approved a $350,000 float loan to assist a Boardman business move downtown as well as land purchases related to the amphitheater and Chill-Can projects.

The board authorized the float loan to 2Deep Entertainment to assist with its purchase of a building at 237 E. Front St. just west of the South Avenue bridge. The loan is being offered at 0.25% interest for 12 months, said T. Sharon Woodberry, director of community planning and economic development.

The loan will be backed by an irrevocable letter of credit. Language in the loan agreement is being finalized, she said.

2Deep, a talent-booking and event management company, will move this weekend from 7326 Southern Blvd. and open Monday at the new site, Terrill Vidale, president, said.

The company will occupy about 1,500 square feet of the 5,820-square-foot building, which is known as the International Renaissance Building. Vidale is in discussions with potential tenants – a credit union and an insurance agency – for the remaining space.

The company has seven part-time employees with Vidale its sole full-time employee. One reason for the move is to have additional space for expanding employment.

“The city is growing and I want to be a part of that movement,” he said. “I want to be in the heart of what’s going on in the city. That was my major reason for relocating.”

During Thursday’s meeting, the board also approved a pair of land purchases, one tied to the city’s development of an amphitheater and riverfront park near the Covelli Centre and the other associated with the Joseph Co. International plant in the Near East Side Urban Renewal Area.

The city will pay $10,000 for 0.71 acres along the CSX rail line for the downtown project.

“It’s really just a small strip,” Law Director Martin Hume said.

The city has the footprint it requires for the amphitheater although it will require easements related to utility line extensions, Finance Director David Bozanich said.

“Those are more perfunctory,” he remarked.

The city plans to seek a $4 million Section 108 Loan from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to develop the amphitheater and riverfront park, which is projected to cost $9 million. A public input meeting is planned for 5 p.m. March 9 at the Covelli Centre as part of the 30-day public review and comment period related to the loan application.

The city has had “positive” communications with HUD officials regarding the loan application, Bozanich said.

The board also approved an agreement with Randall P. Ruby and Rose Marie Norman for $720 for one city lot and 15 feet of another in the urban renewal area, where Joseph Co. International has announced plans for a $20 million manufacturing plant and research center.

The city has finalized agreements to acquire all but two properties for the project, Woodberry said.

In other business, the board approved an agreement with the 112th Engineer Battalion of the Ohio Army National Guard to perform demolition work in the city this summer.

The unit is expected to take down 15 structures in the area of Hudson and Idlewood avenues on the South Side, said Abigail Beniston, code enforcement and blight remediation superintendent.

Pictured: International Renaissance Building.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.