Company News

GE to Auction 3 Former Plant Sites in Valley

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Three properties where General Electric Co. formerly operated plants in the Mahoning Valley will be offered for sale during an online auction July 14.

Hilco Real Estate is offering a total of six former Ohio plant sites, including sites in Youngstown, Warren and Niles, via the online auction. Bidding will begin at 9 a.m. that day for the sites, which may be bid on individually or in any combination.

Minimum bids listed are $75,000 for the Youngstown site, for which GE had previously sought $181,000; $100,000 for the Warren buildings and land, for which the previous asking price was $400,000; and $440,000 for the Niles property, compared with the $644,650 previously sought.

The Valley properties being offered and Hilco’s listings of their assets include:

  • Youngstown – The 2.9-acre site at Market Street and Hughes Street where GE’s Youngstown Lamp Plant stood until it was torn down in 2014, as well as an adjacent parking lot, with “excellent highway access” – on and off ramps for Interstate 680 are nearby – and frontage on Market Street and 680;
  • Warren – Two buildings at 1251 and 1313 W. Market St., offering 21,000 square feet of space on 2.37 acres of land, a “commercial warehouse and prime industrial development parcel”;
  • Niles – A 69,430-square-foot building on 15.70 acres of land described as a “centrally located distribution center” within five miles of four major interstate highway.

Also being offered are GE properties in Cleveland, Ravenna and Toledo.

The mayors of all three Valley cities where the properties are located view the auction as a positive sign.

Youngstown Mayor John McNally said his administration last had discussions with GE regarding the property about two years ago, after the building was taken down. The auction might spur interest in the city or around the country by an investor who could purchase the property for future development.

“There’s going to be interest in it,” the mayor predicted. He acknowledged the city might bid on the site, which is along a prime gateway to downtown.

Any buyer would have to address potential environmental concerns at the site, McNally said, noting that state funding or other help might be available.

“It’s a beautiful piece of property,” Niles Mayor Thomas Scarnecchia said of the site in his city, 403 N. Main St. “It’s got offices that are great and it even has the shell of a plant.”

Niles, which has been in state fiscal emergency since October 2014, is in no position to buy the Niles GE property. However, the city, which operates its own electric utility, has the lowest electric rates in the area, and has its own water and sewer system, Scarnecchia said.

Through City Council and the Youngstown Warren Regional Chamber, which is contracted with Niles to provide economic development services, the city “probably could work something out,” in terms of incentives, Scarnecchia said.

In Warren, Mayor Doug Franklin said his hope “is that the result of the auction is a positive one that we can get another business in place.”

Franklin praised GE for cleaning up its idle properties, unlike many major companies, he remarked. The city can negotiate water and sewer rates, among incentives it can offer.

“We’ll do all that we can to make [potential buyers] understand that Warren’s a good place to do business,” he said.

Pictured above: GE’s former plant site at Austin and West Market streets in Warren.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.