Youngstown Seeks Proposals for Bottom Dollar Food Site

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — The city of Youngstown will accept development proposals through Feb. 1 at noon for the former Bottom Dollar Food building on the South Side.

Tours of the closed grocery store, which was built in 2011, will be available from 3 to 4 p.m. Jan. 5 and 19, according to the request for proposals issued by the city Monday. No minimum price has been set for the property, but the city, through its Board of Control, “reserves the right to reject any or all proposals and to waive any formalities in the proposal process, or to accept the proposal deemed most favorable to the city.”

All uses will be considered but priority will be given to developers proposing end use as a grocery store. The neighborhood had lacked a full-service grocery store for about a decade prior to Bottom Dollar Food’s opening.

Bottom Dollar Food opened the grocery store, located at 2649 Glenwood Ave., in February 2012, one of three that opened in Youngstown. The store was built on the site of the former Cleveland Elementary School and an adjacent playground.

Aldi Inc., which purchased the Bottom Dollar Food grocery chain from Delhaize America, the U.S. subsidiary of Brussels-based Delhaize Group, announced in March it would not reopen the three city locations.

Aldi gifted the Glenwood Avenue property to the city, which took ownership over the past week, said T. Sharon Woodberry, director of community planning and economic development.

“We have had some interest,” including some initial conversations with local grocery operators, she said.

Mayor John McNally affirmed there has been some interest expressed in the property. “I don’t think we were going to know for sure how much until we got ownership of the property and were able to put out the RFP,” he said.

The request for proposals describes the former store as a one-story, 18,000-square-foot building built in 2011 on an approximately 5.1-acre lot. With a construction value of $1.5 million, the building has no basement and no equipment or shelving in place. The building is located in a Mixed Use-Commercial zoning district.

Proposals will be evaluated based on:

  • Use of the facility to conform to neighborhood and community, with preference for a grocery store;
  • Quality of proposed investment in context of proposed end use;
  • Financial or other guarantees related to the proposal;
  • Professional experience related to proposed use;
  • Number of jobs created or retained.

The RFP also notes there is an adjacent 1.6-acre site available for potential expansion along West Indianola Avenue, with the potential of vacating Utilis Street to connect the two sites.

The RFP also includes demographic information and traffic counts for the area. According to the document, households in the Glenwood Avenue corridor expend an estimated $25.2 million on food purchases annually, excluding dine-in, carryout or fast food restaurants.

The population of the eight Youngstown census tracts and one Boardman tract along the Glenwood corridor is 19,574, with a median household income of $30,029 and 8,354 households according to 2013 data.

Although the city is looking for a local grocer, officials also have reached out to the Ohio Grocers Association, McNally said. The city will distribute the RFP to the group after the first of year to get a “different set of eyes” on it.

In addition to seeking a local grocer, city officials have reached out to the Ohio Grocers Association, the mayor said. The city will distribute the RFP to the group after the first of year to get a “different set of eyes” on it.

“I’m going to be optimistic about it and hopefully it will pay off come Feb. 1,” McNally said.

All proposals should be marked as “Proposal for Former Bottom Dollar Food Facility” and submitted to David Bozanich, Director of Finance, 26 S. Phelps St., Youngstown, OH 44503.

Questions concerning the RFP should be directed to Woodberry at 330 744 1708. Reviews of the property’s architectural and engineering plans can be arranged by calling the city’s building and grounds department at 330 742 8995.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.