Council to Consider Steelite Incentives, 20 Federal Contracts

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Members of City Council will consider a job creation grant to incentivize Steelite International’s plans to move its headquarters to downtown, along with items related to the proposed renovation of the 20 Federal Place building.

The grant agreement, as outlined in an ordinance that will go before council members at their July 27 meeting, would provide up to $415,000 for five years to Steelite, which announced plans in June to relocate its headquarters from New Castle, Pa.

The company, a global supplier of tableware to the hospitality industry that has a showroom in the Commerce Building downtown, reached an agreement with the Youngstown Business Incubator to occupy most of the Taft Technology Center and the second floor of the adjoining Semple Building.

To receive the grant, which has an estimated value of $415,000, Steelite must commit to relocating at least 60 full-time employees with an annual payroll of not less than $5 million no later than December of this year. The grant would provide annual payments based on payroll withholdings, ranging from 100% during the first year to 25% in its final year.

The agreement has clawback provisions if “certain standards” aren’t maintained, according to the legislation.

Council members will consider several pieces of legislation related to 20 Federal Place, which received a nearly $7 million in brownfield remediation grant from the state of Ohio.

“We’re excited to be able to be a partner in communities like the Mahoning Valley,” Lydia Mihalik, director of the Ohio Department of Development, said Thursday during a visit to YBI. Initiatives like the state brownfield grant program “are vitally important to being able to get these projects done, and we’re excited to see these projects come to life,” she added.

Among the items Council will take up are one authorizing the city’s Board of Control to enter into a lease agreement with a developer – not identified at this point — to “rehabilitate and develop a mixed-use complex’ that includes office, restaurant and retail components at the city-owned building.

Other ordinances authorize the city to enter into various contracts related to the project, with Steadfast City Economic & Community Partners of St. Lous to provide technical assistance and strategic counsel to the city for matters related to the redevelopment of 20 Federal at a cost of $215 per hour, not to exceed $75,000.

Steadfast City has worked with the city on 20 Federal for more than two years, and representatives were to be in Youngtown this week to meet with the building’s tenants, who were informed more than a week ago they needed to leave the building so the remediation work can begin.

Two other ordinances, if approved, would authorize contracts with HP Consulting Group, Cleveland, and Desmone, the Pittsburgh architectural firm the city has been working with since last year and which helped the city secure the brownfield grant, to assist with providing state and federal historic presentation tax credits to support the project.

Under its agreement Desmone would be paid up to $935,380 to provide architectural, interior design, digital scanning, and engineering services including civil, structural, mechanical, plumbing and fire protection engineering. HP Group would receive up to $168,000 under its contract.

Another item increases appropriations from the demolition fund to match the amount awarded by the brownfield grant.

Additionally, council members will consider entering into an agreement with Colu Technologies, New York, to extend the license and software platform that supports the YO! Smartphone app through July 31, 2023. The contract is for up to $65,000.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.