West Warren Industrial Park Project Receives $4M State Loan

WARREN, Ohio – Development of a $12.68 million spec industrial building on this city’s west side remains on track for occupancy by mid-2025, one of the project’s principals said.

The Ohio State Controlling Board approved a $4 million loan Monday from the state’s Rural Industrial Park Loan Program to assist with the first building – a 98,280-square-foot structure – at the new West Warren Industrial Park on Nevada Avenue Southwest.

In February 2023, Sapientia Ventures LLC, a local venture capital group, announced plans to develop an industrial park at the site.

“We’re thrilled to get started,” said Wiley Runnestrand, managing partner for Sapientia Ventures. “We’re really appreciative to the state for the support of the local economy, and we’re excited to partner with them on getting West Warren going.”

The project was one of two that received funding from the rural loan fund.

The Zanesville-Muskingum County Port Authority also was awarded $4 million to help finance construction of a 201,600-square-foot building for light manufacturing and warehouse space within the National Road Business Park in Zanesville. The $17.22 million project is expected to create at least 50 full-time equivalent jobs, according to the Ohio Department of Development.

Sapientia Ventures, which also owns The Business Journal, worked with the Western Reserve Port Authority to assemble the 86-acre site for the industrial park. The partners said they envision eventually developing 1 million square feet of modern space for light industrial and warehousing use.

Construction of the initial building is projected to cost about $8.05 million, according to state documents. Other costs associated with the project include $1.17 million for site preparation, and $1.88 million for infrastructure. 

The Department of Development said at least 20 full-time equivalent jobs are expected to be created at the project site.

Now that the $4 million loan has been approved, Runnestrand anticipates that people will begin “seeing a lot of activity on the site,” including grading and topography work, likely in July and August. Steel should go up by late fall, and the structure should be ready for occupancy during the second quarter of 2025.

“It’s a spec building. So it’ll be built and it will be ready to lease,” Runnestrand said.

Additionally, the port authority is expected to take action at its board meeting Wednesday on the issuance of a revenue bond and execution of final documents related to a capital lease agreement for the project. Also, the city of Warren is awaiting final approval of $1.5 million in funds from the state’s $700 million One Time Community Investment Fund for infrastructure related to the project.

Pictured at top: A rendering of the first building that will be built at the West Warren Industrial Park.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.