Youngstown Officials to Act on 20 Federal Master Lease Monday

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The Board of Control will act on a proposed master lease for the 20 Federal Place building on Monday as a deadline to enter into an agreement nears.

Following a Board of Control meeting Friday morning, Law Director Jeff Limbian said a draft of the proposed master lease was in his email waiting for him to review and that he would discuss next steps with Mayor Jamael Tito Brown and Nikki Posterli, Brown’s chief of staff and director of the city’s department of community planning and economic development

Shortly before noon, Posterli confirmed that a meeting would be scheduled for Monday to act on the agreement.

Desmone, a Pittsburgh architectural firm the city has been working with to redevelop and potentially acquire the city-owned 20 Federal Place, has proposed a master lease between the city and 20 Federal Place LLC, a special purpose entity the company created.

The city faces a Monday deadline to approve a master lease agreement for the building to qualify for about $7.5 million in Transformation Mixed-Use Development tax credits, Finance Director Kyle Miasek said at a meeting of City Council’s building and grounds committee Thursday afternoon. The city also needs the master lease agreement in place for the building to be eligible for about $25 million seen as critical for the redevelopment project, estimated at $74 million.

City officials raised objections to an earlier version of the master lease agreement that Desmone proposed, arguing it did not adequately protect city assets. Desmone, which applied for the TMUD tax credit last month – also assisted the city in securing a $6.9 million brownfield redevelopment grant.

“The attorneys on both sides have been negotiating the agreement for the past few weeks to ensure safeguards are in place for all parties and are cognizant of the Monday deadline,” Posterli said.

During Friday’s meeting – conducted by Limbian and Miasek because Brown had to attend to a family situation – the board approved entering into an $65,000 contract with Colu Technologies, New York, to extend the license and software platform supporting the YO! Buy Local smart device app through July 31, 2023.

According to data from Colu, the app has more than 1,400 users, with 134 participating businesses and 25 businesses that redeem the rewards app users accumulate. It has generated $60,000 in economic activity and is trending to generate more than $400,000 in local economic activity and have more than 3,000 users by July 2023.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.