Former Syro Steel Site Sold for $400,000; Developer Eyes Rebirth

GIRARD, Ohio – The site of the former Syro Steel Co. complex in Girard could see new life after its recent purchase by a Lisbon development group.

Records from the Trumbull County Auditor’s office show that 1170 State Road LLC acquired the property – consisting of 22 acres, an office building and three manufacturing buildings – from Syro Steel for $400,000 on Aug. 19.

The site was most recently occupied by Trinity Industries, but has remained vacant since Trinity ceased operations there in 2018.  Records from the Ohio Secretary of State’s office show that the name and address for 1170 State Road LLC is Benjamin Dickey of 7716 Depot Road, Lisbon.

“This is going to be rebranded and put out there for lease,” says Dan Crouse, agent for Platz Realty Group, which listed the site. “It’s going to take a major infusion of cash, but he’s willing to do it because it has great flex space and good manufacturing space.”

Syro Steel constructed a rolling mill at the location at 1170 N. State St. during World War II. It also built a galvanizing plant and a shearing operation at the site.

Crouse says the main building is a 100,000-square-foot steel manufacturing plant, of which about 60,000-square feet is usable. “The rest of that will have to come down,” he says. However, this portion of the site has direct rail access, an important attribute for any prospective industrial tenant.

“There’s rail directly into this building and it has seven cranes,” Crouse says. 

Another 21,000 square-foot building that once housed Syro’s galvanizing operations is still in solid condition, Crouse notes, while a 7,000-square foot building where the company’s shearing division operated is also intact.

Crouse says the vacant industrial buildings, including 10,000 square feet of office space, could easily be repurposed to accommodate multiple tenants. Industrial buildings that have large crane capacity, he says, are attractive to manufacturing interests since they would be expensive to construct new.

“You can’t duplicate those,” Crouse says.  

Syro Steel began in business manufacturing steel for the war effort during the mid-1940s.  Among the products the company designed were Quonset Huts for the military during the war. A 3,000-square-foot demonstration model of these huts still sits on the property. 

The entrance to the bomb shelter.

“They were able to fit small scout planes in these,” Crouse says.

Even more intriguing is a Cold War-era fallout shelter that Syro designed for customers during the 1950s through the early 1960s.  

It was widely believed then that international tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union could at any moment erupt into a nuclear war, exacerbated by events such as the Korean War during the early 1950s and the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. Fearful of an atomic attack, some Americans took to constructing private bomb shelters to protect them from a nuclear holocaust.  

“There is a demo model of one of these just through the office. It’s in pretty good shape,” Crouse says.  “They sold these things during the Cold War.”

Redevelopment of the site would also mean returning the property to productive use, Crouse says. “The office building is essentially furnished. But after a quick cleanup, it’s ready to go.”

Pictured at top: The former Syro Steel building in Girard.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.