Glenwood Business Center Nears Full Occupancy

WARREN, Ohio – The new Glenwood Business Center in Youngstown will be at more than 50% occupancy by the end of the month, Anthony Trevena told members of the Western Reserve Port Authority’s board of directors at its monthly meeting Wednesday.

Inspiring Minds will be an anchor tenant of the South Side building, Trevena reported. Trevena is director of the Northeast Ohio Development and Finance Authority, the port authority’s economic development division.  

The Glenwood Avenue project was among several that Trevena updated for board members during the meeting, which began with a moment of silence in memory of former board member Don Hanni III, who died Tuesday. 

The port authority acquired the 2246 Glenwood Ave. building in May with plans to sell it to Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corp. within 18 months. YNDC ended up purchasing the structure in August.  

An Oct. 31 event is scheduled to showcase the property with local officials and representatives of Wells Fargo Foundation, which in June awarded the city and YNDC a $150,000 grant to support renovation of the building.

Rescue Mission of the Mahoning Valley previously used the building as its distribution center.

Other potential tenants YNDC is working with include a food processing company and a tenant for part of the property’s warehouse space, Trevena said. The building has about 20,000 square feet of space.

The port authority, using a $50,000 community development block grant provided by the city, also will offer microenterprise counseling services, he said. “So you’re not just putting enterprises into the building. This is to help them become successful and teach them fiscal competency,” he remarked. 

Ian Beniston, YNDC’s executive director, is even more optimistic than Trevena about the building. By Oct. 31, when an event with city officials and Wells Fargo is planned, he said he expects a “super majority” of the available space to be leased.

Beniston also doesn’t expect this to be the last such project YNDC undertakes in the city, he said Wednesday afternoon.

“One of the reasons we undertook this is because we saw a need for move-in ready commercial space, not just along Glenwood but neighborhoods in Youngstown in general outside of downtown,” he said. 

During the meeting, the board also authorized Trevena to make arrangements to take possession of the former public defender’s building, 328 Mahoning Ave. The building is one of several properties covered under an agreement between the city of Warren and the port authority to redevelop properties.

Once an agreement is reached with the city, the port authority will transfer the property to the Trumbull County Historical Society. The society plans to renovate the building to accommodate its offices, classroom space, a research library to accommodate documents and archives, and eventually a multipurpose community room, executive director Meghan Reed said. 

WRPA and the historical society still have to hamper out transfer and development agreements, Trevena said. Once the port authority takes possession of the building, Trevena said he expected WRPA to hold it for perhaps a day.

Trevena also reported that work was underway on the former Harshman Building, most of which the port authority is converting for use by Eastern Gateway Community College.

The port authority has committed to completing four classrooms for Eastern Gateway by Dec. 30, in time for classes next semester, Trevena said. It has until February to complete the remaining space the community college is taking in the building.

Demolition work in the building is 90% complete, Randy Partika, project manager and development engineer for the port authority, reported.

“It’s been pretty exciting to watch,” Trevena said.

John Moliterno, the port authority’s executive director, told the board he would be attending the Take Off aviation conference toward the end of the month. There he already has appointments lined up with five airlines, including American.

“It’s unusual that they attend this conference,” Moliterno acknowledged.  “Maybe their business model has changed.”

Other airlines Moliterno said he would meet with include Coutour, SkyWest and Ultimate.

Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport, which the port authority operates, has lacked scheduled service since Allegiant Air ceased operations in January.

The goal is to get at least one airline back at the airport, if not two, Moliterno said.

In addition, while at the conference, Moliterno said he would speak to potential aviation director candidates. Dan Dickten, the prior aviation director, resigned in April. His duties in the meantime have been divided among other port authority personnel.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.