Desmone Submits 20 Federal Proposal to City’s Consultant

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The consultant working with Youngstown officials on the potential redevelopment of 20 Federal Place received the full proposal Wednesday from Desmone, the Pittsburgh architectural firm that had requested additional time.

Officials with Steadfast City Economic & Community Partners, St. Louis, confirmed via email late Wednesday that Desmone had submitted its proposal.

The city had set a 4 p.m. June 1 deadline for responses to the request for proposals. Language included in the RFP stated that proposals received after the deadline would not be revealed until a redeveloper was selected.

Desmone was one of two potential developers that responded to the city’s request for proposals to purchase and redevelop the city-owned 20 Federal Place, the former Strouss’ building downtown. Its submission stated that the company would be providing further information, said Doug Rasmussen, Steadfast City president and CEO.

“There’s no formal extension, but the city reserves the right to continue to review materials submitted after the deadline,” he said.

Downtown Development Group, which has acquired and redeveloped several properties in downtown Warren, responded with a full proposal by the city’s deadline.

“We know that these two groups will be getting further reviewed and advance in the process,” Rasmussen said. Additional proposals aren’t expected, but if any came in the city would have the right to review them, he reiterated.

Mark Marvin, president of Downtown Development Group, said in an email Wednesday he wouldn’t be pleased if the city floated the deadline, but added his proposal was “meant to stand up against all others” at the set deadline.

“So if no information will be shared, then the process will play out accordingly,” he said. “Once we are contacted after that process is complete, we will see what direction DDG will take.”

DDG and Desmone both will need to do additional due diligence on the property, Rasmussen said. He expects both organizations to submit additional information over the next month.

Following another round of due diligence, DDG will adjust its proposal “as or if needed,” Marvin said. He requested the opportunity to do an additional walk-though on his own with access to all areas of the building to “ascertain additional aspects of our proposal to provide a more in-depth analysis and possibly further details” regarding the company’s intentions for the property.

“Going though the building with 26 other individuals was not ideal to look and ask pertinent questions oriented toward a proposal. Everything at that time was superficial so we had to make a lot of assumptions while answering the RFP,” Marvin said.

Steadfast City hosted two events for developers to tour the building.

“We were very excited by the nine groups that came in and looked at the property,” Rasmussen said. Officials are pleased with the two submissions the city received.

In addition, he said the visits “stoked interest” on the part of some of the companies that didn’t submit responses to the RFP in other redevelopment projects in the city. “They’ve all indicated that their visit was a very positive experience and that they would be interested in future opportunities,” he said.

Copyright 2021 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.