Council Considers Giving Land for Plant Expansion

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – City Council will consider gifting 1.4 acres of city-owned land to a specialty metals company for a planned expansion and selling the former Bottom Dollar Food store on the South Side for $150,000 for a health clinic.

Council is expected to vote tonight on both ordinances, which would authorize the city’s board of control to negotiate and enter into development agreements with the projects.

One ordinance would empower the board of control to enter into an agreement with F.R. Buena Vista LLC and Youngstown Specialty Metals. The city proposes to give 1.4 acres of land on Andrews Avenue to the company, which would build a 10,000-square-foot structure on the site to accommodate growth.

The company’s estimated investment in the project is about $800,000, according to the legislation. It now has seven employees and plans to hire two additional workers.

Youngstown Specialty Metals is a supplier of cold rolled strip steel including strapping products, according to its website. Company representatives were unavailable for comment Tuesday.

The city last week agreed to sell the vacant grocery store building to One Health Ohio, which operates several health clinics in the region, to open one there. The health-care provider expects to invest $1.8 million into the project and hire 10 to 15 employees, according to city documents.

Many residents of that section of the South Side don’t have access to health care, said Megan Kovacich, marketing director for One Health Ohio in Youngstown. The Wick Avenue clinic sees 8,500 patients annually, only about 1,000 of whom come from the South Side.

“Transportation has always been an issue so that’s why we thought it would be great to open in that area,” Kovacich said.

One Health Ohio operates under an integrated care model offering medical, dental and behavioral health services. All three services would be provided at the new clinic, she said.

The city was unsuccessful in efforts to attract another grocery store to the site.

The language for the One Health Ohio agreement will need to be amended before council members vote on the ordinance. As prepared, the ordinance, proposed by McNally, proposes for the city to “gift” the building and land at 2649 Glenwood Ave. to Ohio North East Health Systems Inc., a One Health Ohio corporate entity.

Both Kovacich and McNally were surprised when a reporter brought the language to their attention. McNally — who did not intend to literally give away the store — attributed the language to a drafting error that he acknowledged he did not catch.

The language can be amended at tonight’s finance committee meeting prior to the formal council meeting, McNally said.

Kovacich, who also said One Health Ohio’s intention was to purchase the building and site, deferred comment on specifics of the ordinance until after council members took action on it.

In addition, council members will consider several items, now in third reading, to establish a special energy improvement district to assist the proposed Stambaugh Hotel project in downtown Youngstown.

In April, the Western Reserve Port Authority approved issuing property-assessed clean energy – or PACE – bonds to finance energy efficiency improvements to the building.

Copyright 2023 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.