Economic Development

Meet the ‘Power of 32’ Development Team Oct. 12

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Pittsburgh-based Power of 32 Site Development Fund is introducing its team to anyone who has a role in making or shaping business investment decisions in Ohio, specifically in Mahoning and Columbiana counties.

“We want to raise awareness in northeast[ern] Ohio of the site development fund as early-stage financing to get projects with very real potential across the starting line, particularly brownfields,” said the spokesman for the fund, Philip Cynar.

The opportunity to Meet the Power of 32 Team is set for 9:30 to 11 a.m. next Thursday in the Youngstown State University Community Room of the Covelli Centre. The venue has changed from the offices of the Northeast Ohio Development Finance Authority, organizers say, because of response.

Team members will explain the fund and how to apply for development grants. Panera Bread will cater breakfast and those who attend can ask questions. Around 60 people are projected to attend.

The Power of 32 Site Development Fund commands $49 million to encourage development across 32 counties — including five counties in eastern Ohio (Mahoning, Columbiana, Belmont, Jefferson and Monroe), 15 in western Pennsylvania (including Mercer and Lawrence), 10 counties in West Virginia, and two counties in the western panhandle of Maryland.

The effort launched two years ago. It constitutes 15 financial and development partners and has to date made four investments in sites that total $24.8 million: $2.6 million to Trimodal Terminal in Follansbee, W.Va; $5.7 million to Phase II of Clinton Commerce Park in Findlay Township in the Pittsburgh International Airport Corridor; $9.6 million to Almono in Pittsburgh’s Hazelwood neighborhood; and the most recent investment of $6.9 million to Beaver County’s Turnpike Industrial Park.

No loans to date have been made to sponsor a project in Ohio, but interested landowners and developers can apply for loans, which the fund’s board will review.

“There is the possibility that a loan will be made that will propel a key site in northeast Ohio toward fresh opportunity,” Cynar said. “The fund can get these sites into the game, and then traditional lenders can step in to get such projects over the finish line.”

The session next Thursday is free and open to anyone interested in supporting projects in northeastern Ohio, including economic developers, landowners, the industrial and commercial real estate community, and elected officials. Click here to register.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.