Youngstown Will Seek Developers for 20 Federal Place Project

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Youngstown will not reapply for a pair of tax credits to assist with redevelopment of the 20 Federal Place building and will seek interested developers after remediation and demolition work is completed at the building later this year, a consulting firm working with the city said.

Steadfast City Economic & Community Partners, the St. Louis-based consultant that has been working with the city since 2020 on 20 Federal, said in a Tuesday afternoon news release that the city had “elected to defer application to the State Historic Tax Credit Program and Transformational Mixed-Use Development incentive to a future redeveloper.”

Nikki Posterli, chief of staff to Mayor Jamael Tito Brown and director of the city’s department of community planning and economic development, referred questions about the release to Steadfast City.

The trajectory of the 20 Federal project is “constantly evaluated,” Katie Ward, senior project manager for Steadfast City, said in an email in response to a request for comment. Two weeks ago, she said the application deadlines for TMUD in September and the state historic tax credit were “under review.”

Last month, the city approved a $75,000 agreement with Steadfast City to provide technical assistance and strategic counsel to the city on matters including but not limited to 20 Federal.

After 20 Federal was passed over during the most recent round of funding by the Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit program in June, a consultant with Tipping Point Development in Youngstown said the project placed third in its funding category and state officials indicated it likely would be funded if the city applied in September.  

Past applications for the tax credits used a master lease that was approved just over a year ago between the city and 20 Federal Place LLC, an entity made up of individuals from Desmone Architects in Pittsburgh, and a support letter from National Real Estate Developers of Pittsburgh, Ward said.

“The consortium was not ready to actively move forward with a like application to the TMUD program for this round,” she continued.

The city’s decision not to reapply for the tax credits came after “careful consideration” including consultation with Steadfast City, according to the release. The decision “will best align with the city’s revitalization goals and result in selecting a new redeveloper committed to taking a large and complex project from its current status as a clean and remediated building unoccupied and ready for redevelopment through completion,” the release also said.

Last year, the city and Mahoning County Land Bank were awarded a $6.9 million state brownfield remediation grant for 20 Federal for environmental remediation and demolition work there.  

“Once the remediation and demolition work is completed on the building later this year, the city intends to solicit developer interests in the 20 Federal project,” it continued.

“By undertaking a developer solicitation process, the city can refresh interest from the last building tour in May 2021 and identify a developer dedicated to taking this project from its current state to the finish line,” Ward said.

Both Steadfast City and Desmone, the Pittsburgh-based architectural firm that is the architect of record for the demolition and remediation work, will remain involved with the project and is a “key project partner,” she said. The demolition work remains on track to be finished by the end of 2023.    

“There will be a to-be-determined public process to solicit new/additional interest from redevelopers in the building, which, in part, will be facilitated by Steadfast,” she added.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.