Former Republic Steel Office Building Sells for $775K

WARREN, Ohio – The former offices for what once was Republic Steel Corp. has sold for $775,000, according to records.

Information on the Trumbull County Auditor’s website shows that the two-story office building was purchased by New 999 Pine LLC, an entity established on Aug. 7, 2020, according to documents filed with the Ohio Secretary of State. The sale was recorded on Sept. 18.

The new owner lists its mailing address for tax purposes to a company, Converting Technology, based in Milwaukee. Calls to the company were referred to Converting Technology’s parent, PAC Machinery, based in San Rafael, Calif.

Calls to PAC Machinery were not returned. The company specializes in manufacturing shrink packaging systems, bag sealing machinery, thermal heat sealers and pre-opened bags on a roll, according to the company’s website. It operates four subsidiaries, Converting Technology; Clamco, based in Berea; and California-based Vertrod and Packaging Aids.

PAC’s Converting Technology division is dedicated to production of its Rollbag brand, which are pre-opened bags on a roll that fit all brands of automatic baggers, the company’s website notes.

Andrew Blocksom, a principal of 999 Pine Avenue LLC, the entity that sold the building, said he wasn’t sure what line of business the new owners were involved in and didn’t know of any plans to redevelop the building.

The 57,000-square-foot building is appraised at $500,000 for tax purposes, according to the auditor’s website.

The building was last home to the offices of RG Steel, which purchased the offices from AOA Severstal, a Russian steelmaker that bought the operations of bankrupt WCI Steel in 2008.

The offices were constructed in 1980, when the adjacent steel mill at the site operated under the Republic Steel nameplate, records show.

According to records, Blocksom’s company bought the building for $215,000 in July of 2019 from the Community Improvement Corporation of Warren and Trumbull County. A string of ownerships and bankruptcies between 1980 and 2012 ended in the eventual sale and demolition of the former sprawling steel mill, which sat on more than 400 acres near the office building.

Its last owner, RG Steel, declared bankruptcy in 2012, closed the mill and auctioned off its assets. The name was the last incarnation of what began as the Trumbull Steel Corp. at the site a century earlier.

BDM Warren Steel purchased the land and office building in 2012. It gifted the building to what was then called the Tech Belt Energy Innovation Center in 2014, now known as Brite Innovators. The Tech Belt Center then sold it to the Warren Trumbull County Community Improvement Corp. for $1 in 2017.

BDM still owns the vacant acreage near the office building, according to records.

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