ARPA Funds to Boost Sharon Projects 

SHARON, Pa. — American Rescue Plan Act funds will support conversion of the former Carine & Co. warehouse into a mixed-use development and redevelopment of the building where the former Brewtus Brewing Co. operated. 

The five grants totaling $1.3 million announced Monday represent the first round of ARPA-funded grants the city will announce over the coming months, Sherris Moreira, downtown development director, said. Sharon set aside approximately $5 million of its $14.7 million ARPA allocation for revitalization and investment grants. 

“All funds support larger projects,” Bob Fiscus, city manager, said in the news release. “We really are focused on sustainable economic development and building up our local economy with the ARPA funds.”

Slightly more than a third of the funds awarded Monday — $450,000 – will be used to support JCL Development’s and Hudson Companies’ redevelopment of the 47,000-square-foot Carine & Co. warehouse into apartments and commercial space serving Penn State University’s Shenango campus. 

“Transforming this corridor from industrial to high quality of life features that will include an indoor recreational facility along with 12 apartments has long been a goal of ours,” JCL Development CEO James Landino said.  “JCL Development is beyond excited to join forces with the Hudson Companies to build market rate apartments near Penn State in downtown Sharon. To see it fully funded and ready for construction is awesome and we thank the city leaders for believing in our vision for what downtown can look and feel like.”

Also among the recipients was Nova Destinations, Pulaski. The company, whose brands include Nova Cellars Winery and Brew 32 Craft Brewery, received $150,000 to support a new business startup at 23 Chestnut Ave., a property also owned by JCL Development.  

In the news release, Nova Destinations’ owner Walt Novosel said his company was in the final stages of planning on the project and would provide more details in the coming weeks. 

“We are very excited to be able to use these funds to bring multiple, unique, one-of-a-kind destinations to Sharon,” Novosel, whose grandfather established Walt’s Inn back in the early 1970s and uncle owned Billy’s Black and Gold, said.

“I am excited to be able to continue my families’ presence in Sharon,” he continued. “We have been very impressed with the city and the local businesses and are excited to be part of the continued growth.”

Area Community Theater of Sharpsville – or ACTS – Theater Group was awarded $225,000 for business expansion. Last year ACTS purchased the former Sacred Heart Church, 40 S. Irvine Ave. 

“We anticipate these funds will allow us to finish renovations in the former Sacred Heart sanctuary to create a second performance space which will seat over 250 people,” Tom Perman, ACTS board president, said. adding that they are planning for an October grand opening. 

The new performing arts center, which ACTS anticipates holding a grand opening for in October, “will stimulate revitalization and economic development in the region,” he predicted.

Additionally, the city awarded funds to two more entities for heating, ventilation and air conditioning upgrades. Diehl Automotive, which operates Diehl Hyundai of Sharon, 1300 E. State St., received $250,000 and Buhl Club, 28 Pine St., was awarded $225,000. 

The HVAC upgrades are part of a project that will create “the most up-to-date Hyundai facility in western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio “will improve experiences for the dealership’s team and customers,” Matt Diehl, vice president of Diehl Automotive, said. 

“Being part of a community that is willing to invest in us will inspire us to invest even more in the city’s initiatives and the community as a whole,” he added. “Our hope is to inspire others to invest in the city of Sharon.” 

The HVAC will be updated to improve updated air quality, Jason Kmick, Buhl Club executive director, said. 

Phase one of the $7 million project is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2022 and includes renovations to the entire first floor with an updated wellness and fitness center, the addition of a youth and teen center, a new welcome center, family locker room and mechanical updates throughout. Phase two includes renovations and new bathrooms to the second floor to better support Penn State athletics. 

“We believe that once our project is complete, we will play our part to bring people from the Shenango Valley to downtown Sharon,” Kmick said. “We look forward to supporting the ongoing efforts to make downtown Sharon a destination.”

Grant recipients were chosen from more than 40 applications, Moreira said. The city followed the directives of ARPA guidance, including use of funds to grow the tax base, promote workforce development and community impact. 

The Shenango Valley Chamber of Commerce’s executive director welcomed news of the grant funds. “The Shenango Valley Chamber is excited to see the continuation of economic growth and development in the city of Sharon,” Libbi Brown said.

Pictured: JCL Development and Hudson Companies received $450,000 in American Rescue Plan Act funds from the city of Sharon to assist with their redevelopment of the former Carine & Co. building for apartments and commercial space.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.