Editor’s Note: The following story is from Growth Report 2017, published by The Business Journal.
WARREN, Ohio — Ribbon cuttings and groundbreakings inaugurated new projects in 2016 that exceeded $1 billion in new investment in the region, making it a landmark year at Routh Hurlbert Real Estate Co., a commercial real estate brokerage firm based in Warren.
“2017 began with even larger projects in queue, especially in the energy sector,” says Dan Crouse, broker.
In the Mahoning Valley, Lordstown has emerged as the hotbed for power plant development. The $900 million Trumbull Energy Center project, announced Jan. 11, is expected to break ground within the next 12 months through the efforts of Routh Hurlbert, according to Crouse.
Clean Energy Future LLC, based in Boston, is already building one $890 million natural-gas-fueled electrical generation plant – named the Lordstown Energy Center – at an adjacent site along Henn Parkway that should be commissioned by the summer of 2018.
The power generation projects will open even more opportunity for support and downstream businesses in the area, Crouse says.
“Routh Hurlbert looks to provide even more services to the plants and our clients in the area plus attract businesses that need the virtually uninterruptable power supply these plants will offer,” Crouse says.
Renewed oil and gas exploration in the Utica and Marcellus shale plays has created other opportunities to help clients leverage the downstream markets.
“In addition to power generation, we see growth in midstream pipeline projects, and massive opportunity in positioning clients in the path of the petrochemical downstream,” Crouse says. “Our market research indicates there will be expansion in the energy sector’s upstream, midstream, and downstream business – and the energy sector downstream includes power generation and petrochemicals,” he says.
Crouse says the key challenge during 2016 was the pessimism created by the presidential election cycle. But the business community is reacting positively to the election of President Donald Trump with the energy and manufacturing sectors optimistic that there be new investment in infrastructure.
Routh Hurlbert is working with clients to be prepared for this growth and reap the benefits of being positioned correctly, he says.
Meanwhile, ongoing upheavals in the retail and medical markets may provide additional opportunity in 2017.
“Since many brick and mortar retailers are struggling, this may open up opportunities for re-purposing of retail space,” he explains. “The same can be said for the medical field as re-alignment of insurance providers changes the way health care is delivered locally.”
Crouse says additional medical office space, especially in Warren and Howland, is under construction and will likely result in an oversupply in the coming year. Routh Hurlbert, he says, is working on plans to address this situation.
Copyright 2017 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.
Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.
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