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Port authority to pay $350K for former Harshman site

YOUNGSTOWN — The Western Reserve Port Authority is finalizing its purchase of the former Harshman law firm building downtown.

The port authority agreed to pay NYO Property Group $350,000 for the building.

Anthony Trevena, the port authority’s economic development director, said Wednesday the board is looking into applying for various low-interest loans available through the city of Youngstown.

Earlier this year, the board agreed to spend up to $675,000 to buy and renovate the building at 101 E. Boardman St.

The port authority plans to rent some of the building to Eastern Gateway Community College and to use part of it for its own office space for its economic development arm.

The market value of the building is $345,520, according to the Mahoning County Auditor’s Office.

The community college, which plans to expand its Youngstown campus to the Harshman building, previously made a 10-year commitment to work on a rental agreement with the port authority.

Trevena said the terms of the lease with the college are being finalized.

Previously, Trevena said the port authority is also in discussions with a potential commercial tenant. More information about that business would be made public closer to finalization of an agreement, he said.

Trevena has said he expects most of the building to be occupied by the end of next summer, with his department moving in by the end of April, and the community college setting up its facilities by July 1.

About 3,000 of the 14,000-square-foot structure would be used for office staff with about 8,000 square feet on the main floor and in the basement available to lease for office and / or retail space.

NYO also owns Penguin Place in Youngstown, where the port authority’s economic development offices are now located.

John Moliterno, the port authority’s executive director, has said he doesn’t believe developer Dominic Marchionda’s legal troubles will impact the purchase of the Harshman building. Marchionda, NYO CEO, has been accused of running a Ponzi scheme using a number of companies to funnel government money. Earlier this month, he was indicted on dozens of felony counts related to allegations he misused Youngstown water funds and float loan money.

Discussion about the transaction between the port authority and NYO were initiated before Marchionda was indicted, Moliterno said.

Copyright, Tribune Chronicle, October 25, 2017, Virginia Shank