Grants Power Demolitions, Cleanups for Land Bank

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The Mahoning County Land Bank will launch campaigns this year to demolish nearly 600 houses and remediate environmental hazards at the landmark 20 Federal Place building in Youngstown.

The nonprofit community improvement corporation landed two major grants last year to pay for these major projects:

  • $6.9 million from the Ohio Department of Development for 596 housing demolitions, mostly in Youngstown but also in Campbell and eight other communities.
  • $9 million from the same state agency for five brownfield-remediation projects, the largest of which targets remediation at 20 Federal, the former Phar-Mor Centre.

“Last year was a great year for grants and 2023 will be a banner year for activity,” says Debora Flora, executive director of the land bank. “We have a lot of work to do on these two multifaceted projects, alongside our day-to-day work to reclaim abandoned properties and convert them to more productive use.”

More than $6.9 million in brownfield grants will cover the remediation work at 20 Federal, and more than $1.4 million targets the former Royal Sebring China property in Sebring.

Another $496,000 will support remediation at the Area A portion of the Castlo Industrial Park in Struthers. That project is being led by Castlo and Western Reserve Port Authority.

The final $236,000 will support remediation/redevelopment at two vacant Youngstown buildings – an old church-school at 131 W. Woodland Ave. and a building at 2307 Market St.   

The housing demolitions across the county are expected to last well into 2024. The Land Bank expects to add staff this year to monitor the activity and answer questions of those who live near the targeted houses.

Also in 2022, the Land Bank moved to the third floor of the City Centre One building downtown. The agency left its former home in 20 Federal Place to clear the way for remediation and renovation work there.