WRPA OKs Financing for $12M Inn at Poland Way

AUSTINTOWN TOWNSHIP, Ohio – The Western Reserve Port Authority Wednesday approved providing up to $13 million in municipal bonds for an 89-bed assisted living center in Poland Township.

The Inn at Poland Way is being developed by EDM Management on Center Road (U.S. Route 224) east of Clingan Road. Construction is expected to begin in the next few weeks, Diane Reese, executive director of EDM’s operating division, Briarfield, told The Business Journal earlier this month.

Under the agreement with Poland Way Facility Realty, an EDM subsidiary created to execute the project, the port authority will own the building – on paper — during construction under a triple-net lease agreement with the developer, said Sarah Lown, senior manager of economic development at the port authority. At the end of the lease, EDM will buy the building back for what she called a “nominal fee.”

EDM will realize savings by borrowing the bond proceeds at a lower rate than a commercial bank would provide. The port authority will also issue a certificate to exempt any building materials purchased from state sales tax.

The $13 million in bonds authorized is probably about $1 million more than the project should require, said David Rogers, a member of Frost Brown Todd LLC in Columbus, which is serving as bond counsel. Rogers told the port authority board that he expects the deal to close around Sept. 15.

“This is an exciting project because this is the first project of this type we’ve done since the racino project,” said John Moliterno, port authority executive director. Two years ago the port authority issued $60 million in bonds to help Penn National Gaming Inc. build its Hollywood Gaming At Mahoning Valley Race Course, which opened in Austintown last year.

“We probably have another half-dozen projects of this type in the hopper that we are discussing with owners and developers about how we can move forward,” Moliterno continued. “We hope that this is the first of a number of projects of this type that we’re involved with in the future.”

The port authority board, which held its monthly meeting at Austintown Township Hall, also approved the sale of Hangar 3 at Youngstown-Warren Regional airport, which the port authority operates.

Terms of the sale call for entering an agreement — subject to negotiations with port authority counsel – for the Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics to buy the hangar for $285,000 and enter a 20-year land lease for the property.

The institute of aeronautics operates a branch campus at the airport where it offers aircraft repair and maintenance instruction. The school plans a 7,400-square-foot expansion to the hangar building at a cost of $1.1 million. It current lease expires next year.

Should the institute choose to walk away, the building would revert to the airport and it would be responsible for any unpaid debt service, said Dan Dickten, director of aviation at the airport in Vienna Township.

Dickten also reported that the airport received $5.3 million in federal funds for its planned midfield taxiway improvement project. “We got the whole shebang, everything that we asked for to cover the full cost of this project and get it done in one season,” he said. Kirila Contractors of Brookfield has been directed to get the project underway Sept. 8 and has begun surveying for the project.

Passenger count at the airport in July was 19,422, the highest monthly figure since Allegiant Air began operating at the airport in 2006. Year to date, the passenger count is about 3,400 ahead of 2014 figures despite increased competition from other airports in the region Allegiant now is serving.

In addition, the board adopted updated mission and vision statements for the port authority. The statements result from the ongoing work of its strategic plan committee, chaired by David Mosure.

The port authority’s mission, as revised, “is to maintain and continue to develop” the airport and “promote financing and economic development activities in Mahoning and Trumbull counties with primary focus on job creation. Its vision is to advance aviation and foster community and economic development.

Pictured: Rendering by Strollo Architects of the Inn at Poland Way.

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