Youngstown Flea Pays $206K for Former Mill Downtown

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Youngstown Flea LLC, which operates a “market for makers” downtown during the spring, summer and early autumn, has purchased the former Northeast Fabricators Inc. building at 368 E. Boardman St.

Youngstown Flea paid $206,000 for the 24,500-square-foot former manufacturing site, which has been shuttered for years.  The property is appraised at $166,060 for tax purposes on the Mahoning County Auditor’s website.

Built in 1870, the original building at 365 E. Boardman St. is among the oldest still standing in or near the downtown, according to data from the auditor. Renovations and an addition to the structure were completed in 1962, records show. 

Northeast Fabricators sold the building for $175,000 in 2016 to American Steel Industrial Leasing Inc. That entity sold the property to Youngstown Flea on Oct 16.

Valley Economic Development Partners, a public-private economic development agency based in Liberty Township assisted with the purchase, according to documents filed with the Mahoning County Recorder’s office. Youngstown Flea secured a $250,000 mortgage from the agency’s revolving loan fund, which is used to support small-business expansions and startups.

Derrick McDowell, principal of Youngstown Flea, could not be reached for comment about his plans for the building. 

First Ward Councilman Julius Oliver, whose ward includes downtown, deferred all questions regarding any project at the site to McDowell.

“I know it’s going to be 100% beneficial for the city,” he said. 

Calls to Valley Economic Development Partners, formerly known as Mahoning Valley Economic Development Corp., seeking comment about a potential project at the site were not returned. 

McDowell, a businessman and community activist, operates Youngstown Flea, a market for area artisans and retailers held at the Freeman Alley Parking Lot on Front Street next to the Covelli Centre.  The event is held once each month between April and October and features vendors who sell art, crafts clothing and food. 

He is also the owner of We Are A Generation, an online clothing company, and serves as the city’s community engagement and inclusion coordinator for the Youngstown Foundation Amphitheater and Wean Park. 

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.