St. Joseph Warren

Bids to Raze Old St. Joe Hospital Under Review

WARREN, Ohio – A longtime eyesore that has plagued the city for more than two decades should be coming down by the end of the year.

The city opened bids Thursday for the long-awaited demolition and abatement of the former St. Joseph Riverside Hospital, among the most blighted – and visible – abandoned properties in the city.

“We expect to be under contract in about a month and work is expected to be completed by the end of the year,” Franklin said Friday during the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber’s Good Morning Warren breakfast at Trumbull Country Club.

Nine bids in all were submitted for the project, but just eight were accepted, according to a bid list provided to The Business Journal.

Sabre Demolition, based in Warner, N.Y., presented a $6 million bid but was not included in the final package because the company failed to attach a bond with its submission.

Among the companies submitting proposals were:

  • ServPro, based in Warren, which submitted a bid of $3.849 million;
  • Milburn LLC of Bellwood, Ill., $7.624 million;
  • Dore and Associates Inc., of Bay City, Mich., $3.891 million;
  • B&B Wrecking and Excavating, Cleveland, $5.319 million;
  • Bauman Enterprises, Garfield Heights, $4.761 million;
  • Pro Quality, Campbell, $3.755 million;
  • Miller Yount Paving Inc., Cortland, $4.293 million;
  • Dawn Inc., Warren, $3.840 million.

The hospital, built in 1934, expanded to 12 buildings on a campus that encompasses 15 acres along Tod Avenue.

The hospital closed in 1996 after Mercy Health – then known as Humility of Mary Health Partners – acquired Warren General Hospital on Eastland Avenue. The site was sold several times with none of the owners moving forward to redevelop the property. In 2015, foreclosure proceedings were initiated against the building’s ownerand, in 2019, the state took possession of the property.

Last year, the state transferred the property to the Trumbull County Land Bank.

The mayor had said previously he thought the area would be best served as a landscaped greenspace, describing it as a “blank canvas to re-envision the site.”

Franklin also said that the city is working with a company on plans to redevelop more than 60 acres on the south side known as the Westlawn-Deemer Park area, which includes the former Warren Western Reserve High School property.

And Franklin said efforts are underway to remove other slum and blight conditions that mar the city.

The city, the Trumbull County Land Bank and the Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership are working on an application for $10 million in state grants to address a number of blighted properties throughout Trumbull County, including many in Warren, the mayor said.

“This will go a long way in putting these properties back to productive use, Over the last 10 years, the city and the Trumbull County Land Bank have demolished 1,600 residential and 45 commercial properties at a cost of over $9 million,” Franklin said.

The vast majority of demolition funding, the mayor said, came through grants.

Regarding revitalization of the area known as the Peninsula, the city and the Warren Community Improvement Corp. are working with a developer to explore opportunities , Franklin said.

This would include plans for commercial development and new housing, the mayor said.

“I can’t stress enough how important that area is to our future plans for the city and how excited I am to move forward with developing the Peninsula area,” he said.

Franklin said that another $1 million in funding will be made available this year to those business affected by the pandemic. The funds would go to improvements such as signage, painting, landscaping and more, he noted.

As for other initiatives, Franklin praised the work of organizations such as Brite Energy Innovators, the energy incubator downtown that has pioneered new business development in the energy and electric-vehicle space.

Brite is among the partners of a broader northeastern Ohio coalition that successfully cleared the first round of the federal government’s Build Back Better $75 million grant competition, said Jennifer Brindisi, director of marketing and communications at Brite.

Just 60 finalists were selected from more than 500 submissions across the country and the Northeast Ohio proposal was the sole finalist from the state.

Thirty winners of the grant competition will be announced in September.

Brindisi said Brite’s portion of the grant is an $8 million plan to develop an energy storage research and testing laboratory at the former RG Steel office building in Warren, part of a nearly 200-acre brownfield site that is considered the largest available in Ohio.

“It would be a beautiful and progressive site for us to build,” she said.

Pictured: The former St. Joseph Riverside Hospital has sat empty since closing in 1996. 

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.