City to Again Seek Developers for Project

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Youngstown will not reapply for a pair of tax credits to assist with redevelopment of 20 Federal Place downtown but will seek interested developers after remediation and demolition work is completed later this year.

Steadfast City Economic & Community Partners, the St. Louis-based consultant that has been working with the city on 20 Federal, said Sept. 5 that the city had “elected to defer application to the State Historic Tax Credit Program and Transformational Mixed-Use Development incentive to a future redeveloper.”

Nikki Posterli, chief of staff to Mayor Jamael Tito Brown and director of the department of community planning and economic development, referred questions to Steadfast City.

The trajectory of the 20 Federal project is “constantly evaluated,” said Katie Ward, senior project manager for Steadfast City, in response to a request for comment. Two weeks ago, she said the application deadlines for the grants were “under review.”

The city recently approved a $75,000 agreement with Steadfast City for technical and strategic assistance related to 20 Federal.

Past applications for the tax credits used a master lease that was approved a year ago between the city and 20 Federal Place LLC, an entity made up of individuals from Desmone Architects in Pittsburgh, and a support letter from National Real Estate Developers of Pittsburgh.

“The consortium was not ready to actively move forward with a like application to the TMUD program for this round,” said Steadfast’s Ward.

The city’s decision not to reapply for the tax credits came after “careful consideration” including consultation with Steadfast City. The decision “will best align with the city’s revitalization goals and result in selecting a new redeveloper committed to taking a large and complex project from its current status as a clean and remediated building unoccupied and ready for redevelopment through completion,” according to the company.

Last year, the city and Mahoning County Land Bank were awarded a $6.9 million state brownfield remediation grant to fund environmental remediation and demolition work at 20 Federal. 

Once the remediation and demolition work is completed on the building, the city intends to solicit developers to determine interest in the project.

The demolition and remediation work remains on track to be finished by the end of 2023.   

“There will be a to-be-determined public process to solicit new/additional interest from redevelopers in the building, which, in part, will be facilitated by Steadfast,” Ward said.

Pictured at top: Demolition debris awaits removal from the site.