Legacy Industrial Site in Newton Falls Sold for $4.1M

NEWTON FALLS, Ohio – An industrial building that dates to nearly 123 years ago has sold for $4.1 million, according to records filed with the Trumbull County Auditor’s office.

First Street Commercial Development Ltd., an entity created on Dec. 6, 2022, purchased the 330,000-square-foot industrial building from Direct Development LLC, records show. Portions of the sprawling complex at 1536 First St. date to 1900, according to auditor’s data. The building sits on 25 acres along the Mahoning River.

Stan Nudell, an agent for Edward J. Lewis Real Estate, handled the transaction. He said approximately 225,000 square feet is occupied by a major tenant, Direct International Inc. The company, headquartered in Newton Falls, is a national supplier of home décor and seasonal gift items.

The company supplies more than 2,500 retailers in the United States and Canada from the Newton Falls location, according to its website.

A second tenant uses some additional space for warehousing, Nudell added. Both tenants will remain.

However, Nudell said the building’s new owner plans to use the remaining space to house a metals fabricating operation.

“The whole building will be full,” he said.

According to the Trumbull County Historical Society’s website, the former plant factored prominently in the region’s economy during the 20th century.

The plant was once home to the Newton Steel Co., formed in 1919, which produced sheet steel used to manufacture automobiles, according to the historical society. After shutting down in 1931, the company reopened three years later after its merger with Corrigan-McKinney. That company merged with Republic Steel, which then shut the plant down again, only to resurrect it during World War II. The plant manufactured gun barrels for Howitzer cannons and anti-aircraft guns during the war.

After the war, Standard Steel Spring moved into the former Newton Steel plant and began producing steel bumpers for auto manufacturers. Eventually, the company merged with Rockwell Corp. and operated under several incarnations, including North American Rockwell and Rockwell International. The site employed approximately 1,000 workers.

Rockwell International closed its operations there in 1976. A subsequent company manufactured auto bumpers from the plant but closed in 2000, according to the historical society.

“This is an old building, and the previous owner invested a whole lot of money to fix it up,” Nudell said.

According to auditor records, Direct Development purchased the building in March 2006 for $875,000.

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