Berk Enterprises Eyes September Start for $9.7M Project

VIENNA TOWNSHIP, Ohio – Berk Enterprises Inc. anticipates breaking ground in September to build 90,000-square-foot building off Ridge Road near the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport.

The $9.7 million warehouse is the first phase of a planned three-phase project that would allow the Warren-based company to consolidate its different units into one location, said Phil Pegg, chairman of the Vienna Township Board of Trustees.

The company plans to invest at least $17.3 million in the site, according to Nicholas Coggins, assistant director of the Trumbull County Planning Commission.

“The company would like to break ground in September and finish the project by the end of 2023,” he said. The proposed 12-dock distribution center would retain79 full-time equivalent jobs and create 20 full-time-equivalent jobs.

Berk Enterprises was founded more than 60 years ago, according to the company’s website. The company operates Berk Paper and Supply, a regional distributor of food service disposables, janitorial and maintenance supplies; Berk Concession Supply, which serves the amusement industry; and Berkley Square, which sells polypropylene and polystyrene disposable cutlery and related items.

To support the project, Berk is seeking a 15-year, 70% property tax abatement that must be approved by the Mathews Local School District and Trumbull Career and Technical Center.

Last September, the Western Reserve Port Authority agreed to sell to Berk 36 acres of land at 1801 Ridge Road for $295,000. The sale is pending while the company waits to learn whether the abatement is approved, Pegg said.

“We’re waiting for [Trumbull Career and Technical Center] and Mathews School District to decide if they’re going to approve it or not,” he said. The abatement must then be approved by township trustees and the Trumbull County Board of Commissioners.

“If at any point an entity votes to deny the terms, we start the negotiation process over,” Coggins said.

The port authority will consider a capital lease agreement with Berk for the project at its August meeting, said Anthony Trevena, WRPA executive director.

“I could find no downside to this at all,” Pegg said. Once the land transfers to Berk from the port authority, which does not pay taxes on the property, the site instantly will increase property tax revenues for the township.

Also, because taxes generated from any levies covering the site are capped for the life of the levy at the level generated its first year, other property owners will see a reduction in their taxes, he said.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.