The decision to build a student-housing complex at Youngstown State University wasn’t just about business. It was personal.
“There’s a lot of personal feelings that come to mind having been a student here,” said Frank Licata, president of Akron-based LRC Realty, the development company behind The Enclave project at YSU.
Licata, a Youngstown native and 1999 YSU graduate, broke ground on The Enclave with YSU President Jim Tressel, Youngstown Mayor John A. McNally and other community leaders Friday.
“Frank [Licata] was talking with that look in his eye that, yes, this is a part of business – but this really was a part of his heart,” Tressel said of the project.
The $13 million complex brings 65 student apartments to YSU’s campus at the corner of Wick and Lincoln avenues.
“It’s an honor to create a project here that we think is going to really transform our campus,” Licata said.
The Enclave brings 194 beds in 105,511 square feet and 11,020 square feet of leasable retail space to the YSU campus.
The Enclave construction will be finished in time for the fall 2018 semester.
With the opening of The Enclave, 2018 will be the third year in a row for new student housing at YSU.
The Edge, another new student-housing complex near Fifth Avenue, opened in two phases: first in 2016 and then this year.
Construction of The Enclave started about a month ago. The foundation is up, and the goal is to get a roof on by Thanksgiving.
Licata said with all of the activity around YSU and development in Youngstown, the company took interest.
“They are taking a risk on good things happening,” Tressel said. “The more activity we get on campus, it will spill over [throughout Youngstown].”
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 also is to consider a 75 percent, 10-year tax abatement for the commercial space at The Enclave.
Once the project is completed, the city will consider an abatement for the residential space at the complex.
“Like anything great that happens, there’s a whole bunch of people who are a part of it,” Tressel said. “You are going to have to have collaboration of government and business to be successful.”
Copyright: The Vindicator, August 19, 2017, By Kalea Hall