City Says Evicted 20 Federal Tenants Will Get Help to Move
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Representatives of Steadfast City Economic & Community Partners will be in town beginning Tuesday to meet with tenants of 20 Federal Place about their options.
The St. Louis-based consultant, hired in June 2020 to assist the city with redeveloping 20 Federal Place, will “work with each business to help retain and successfully transition them to other locations in the city,” said in a statement emailed Friday afternoon.
“Our team will be the single point of contact to help these businesses manage this process,” said Doug Rasmussen, Steadfast City CEO and managing principal told The Business Journal. “It’ll be an iterative process to help them remain in the city of Youngstown.”
Tenants of the city-owned building were sent letters this week informing them they needed to vacate the structure within 30 or 60 days ahead of environmental remediation work taking place there. In June, the Mahoning County Land Reutilization Corp. was informed it had been awarded a nearly $7 million brownfield remediation grant for 20 Federal.
“We recognize that the progression in receiving grant funds, and remediating 20 Federal Place for its eventual redevelopment, has caused a disruption to several tenants who are important contributors to our economy and valued members of the city’s downtown business community,” said Mayor Jamael Tito Brown.
“Since receiving the brownfield remediation grant, along with an aggressive June 30, 2023, completion deadline, we are moving forward with our implementation of specialized assistance for the tenants leasing space in the 20 Federal Place Building,” Brown said.
Steadfast City’s outreach team has started contacting building tenants to schedule meetings with business owners. Members of its outreach team will be in Youngstown starting Tuesday for one-on-one meetings to fully understand tenants “business and operational needs” resulting from the pending closing.
“This is what we’ve been trying to do for almost a year,” First Ward Councilman Julius Oliver said.
The councilman, whose ward includes downtown, said he, Fifth Ward Councilwoman Lauren McNally and representatives of Steadfast City and Desmone, the Pittsburgh architectural firm working with the city on redeveloping the building, pressed for reaching out to tenants earlier, before the letters informing them they had to vacate the building were sent.
“You don’t evict people without a plan,” Oliver said.
Sarah Scribner, Steadfast City project manager, will lead the engagement effort on behalf of Youngstown. She will be in town Tuesday through Thursday, Rasmussen said.
The company also has developed a toolkit that identifies resource providers to help tenants find new space and provide additional support. It will offer information on available space and real estate professions.
Building tenants Oliver said he has spoken with, some of whom have been there for decades, want to remain downtown, he reported. Some believed they were going to be moved into the adjacent Chase Tower.
“I’m absolutely going to push for some financial support,” Oliver said. He pointed to American Rescue Plan funds as a potential source.
As yet, the plan does not include any financial assistance for helping the displaced companies to relocate.
“We want to get through the first round of these tenant engagement meetings and then evaluate what the needs are,” Rasmussen said.
Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.