RG Steel Warren, Ohio

WRPA Expects to Close on Former Steel Mill Property Soon

WARREN, Ohio – The Western Reserve Port Authority expects to obtain ownership of nearly 1,000 acres of former industrial land here in about 10 days, officials say.

The port authority apprised board members Wednesday regarding progress on acquiring the former Republic Steel property on Pine Avenue, which is owned by BDM Warren Steel Holdings.

BDM has agreed to donate the property to the Port Authority, which wants to attract new development there.

About 800 acres was recently awarded a covenant not- to-sue by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, clearing the way for the transfer. Another 200 acres required a Phase I study before the property could be acquired and approved by the board, said Anthony Trevena, chief operating officer.

“The Phase 1 is completed and we’ve done what the board requested,” he said.  “We anticipate closing in 10 days or so.”

Port Authority CEO John Moliterno said the acquisition presents a significant opportunity for the entire region.  “To get control of this land through the donation process is a tremendous opportunity for the Mahoning Valley,” Moliterno said.  “We believe it’s a very marketable piece of property.”

Sarah Lown, the port authority’s director of public finance, says that BDM, JobsOhio, the state’s private economic development arm, and Gov. Mike DeWine have supported the project from the start.

“We’re lucky to have support from our board, the governor and JobsOhio to speculate on a site like this,” she said, one of the largest brownfield sites in Ohio. “It’s just about shovel-ready.”

Trevena said the location has already generated interest.   

The site was once home to Republic Steel’s sprawling steel mill works.  It then became WCI Steel before being sold to Russian Steel giant Severstal in 2008.  In 2011, RG Steel purchased the mill but closed it for good in 2012 and auctioned its assets in 2013.

The mill’s blast furnace, the last remaining blast furnace in the Mahoning Valley, was demolished in 2017.

Copyright 2021 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.