Youngstown Officials Plan to Inspect Chill-Can Site Oct. 1

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – On Oct. 1, city officials and their legal representatives plan to inspect the “interior and exterior of the 21-acre property” where the M.J. Joseph Development Corp. built its still-vacant Chill-Can structures. And if the company doesn’t grant access to the site, the city says it will file a court motion to compel and seek sanctions.

The inspection notice was filed Friday afternoon in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court, where the city is seeking $2.8 million in damages suffered as a result of the long-delayed venture.

The lawsuit was filed in June – two months after the city notified the Irvine, California-based company that it was in default of two development agreements it signed in 2017.

According to the complaint, the city awarded M.J. Development Corp. $1.5 million in development grant money, plus spent another $414,948 in property acquisition and relocation costs, and another $318,523 in demolition and abatement expenses.

In return, the company agreed to spend about $20 million to construct three buildings by October 2017 and hire at least 237 employees by August 2021.

The buildings have been constructed but only a few workers have been employed and not a single self-chilling beverage can has been produced.

In response, M.J. Joseph Development argues that if the city suffered any damages, which the company denies, they were caused “in whole or in part, by the defendant’s own negligence and fault.”  

Any other damages the city claims it suffered were caused because of either third parties or by “unforeseeable, independent, intervening and/or superseding events,” the company states in court documents.

The city says its inspectors will arrive at the site at 11 a.m. Oct. 1, and will collect photographic and video evidence at the site, according to the court notice.

As of this posting, there is no indication that the company would attempt to block access.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.