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Aqua Ohio, LRC Realty to break ground soon on area projects


Aqua Ohio will soon break ground on its new division headquarters at CASTLO Industrial Park in Struthers, and LRC Realty will break ground for The Enclave on Youngstown State University’s campus.

Both projects were discussed at the Western Reserve Port Authority’s economic-development committee’s meeting Wednesday.

Aqua Ohio has closed on the sale of 4.8 acres in the CASTLO development, which the port authority manages.

Ground will be broken next week for the new office and operations center.

“We needed more space,” said Jeff La Rue, Aqua Ohio spokesman.

Aqua has operated in Struthers since the early 1900s.

Akron-based LRC Realty development group provided the committee an update on the complex to feature student-apartment suites and retail shops.

Groundbreaking will be July 10.

The Enclave is a more than $13 million project that will bring 65 student housing units in 105,511 square feet and 11,020 square feet of leasable retail space to the YSU campus at the corner of Lincoln and Wick avenues. Construction on The Enclave will be finished by summer 2018 and ready for that fall semester.

“We are committed to this, and we are going to move forward for this,” said Gary O’Nesti, special projects director for LRC and a YSU graduate.

The Western Reserve Port Authority board approved a capital-lease program for the project. The port authority will issue up to $14 million in bonds to finance construction.

Youngstown City Council approved $500,000 in water funds to be used for the project and a $4 million loan with a 12-month term.

City council is to consider a 75 percent, 10-year tax abatement for the commercial space at The Enclave. T. Sharon Woodberry, director of community planning/economic development for the city, said once the project is completed, the city will consider an abatement for the residential space at The Enclave.

All of the agreements must be approved by the city’s Board of Control before they are finalized, Woodberry said.

“Everyone has a vision of bringing in outside entities or local entities to incentivize them to invest in these areas,” said Frank Licata, president of LRC and a graduate of YSU, “It’s important to the long-term viability of the area.”

LRC Realty completed a similar project at the University of Akron called University Edge, a 578-bed student housing community with several thousand feet of retail space which has a Chipotle, Penn Station Subs and Arby’s.

“Our goal is to be able to attract some of the best brands,” Licata said.

“Those serve as great amenities.”

(Published: Thu, June 15, 2017, Kalea Hall, The Vindicator)