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Port Authority to Acquire Warren Steel Mill Land

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – BDM Warren Steel Holdings LLC will donate what is expected to be the majority of the former Republic Steel property in Trumbull County to the Western Reserve Port Authority.

Members of the port authority’s board of directors authorized CEO John Moliterno to negotiate and execute an agreement to accept the donated property, 999 Pine Ave. S.E., Warren, at their meeting Wednesday morning, the first of 2021.

During the meeting, which was conducted at Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport and carried via Zoom, the board also authorized Moliterno to negotiate agreements related to two additional development projects.

BDM has just under 1,000 acres of the former steel mill property, which later was operated by WCI Steel Inc. and RG Steel before being acquired by BDM. The port authority and BDM are conducting due diligence on the property – some of which is in the City of Warren, Warren Township, Weathersfield Township and Howland Township – to determine which parcels of the former steel mill site will be donated.

Anthony Trevena, WRPA’s chief operating officer, said he expects the majority of the site to be donated. The port authority is having “ongoing conversations” with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, JobsOhio, and environmental consultants, as well as BDM and its consultants.

“The due diligence is pretty deep. We’re looking at all the ramifications of the property and its potential,” Trevena said. He also expressed WRPA’s gratitude to Charles Betters “this generous donation to the community.”

Trevena could provide few details regarding two other items approved by the port authority board because of nondisclosure agreements.

One authorized execution of a term sheet and preliminary agreement for the issuance of bonds and issuance of a sales tax exemption certificate related to a potential expansion project by a local company. Once the company commits to the project and has a signed contract, the port authority will be able to identify the company, Trevena said.

The other item authorized Moliterno to negotiate and execute a purchase agreement with a developer and authorize the sale of the former Mickey’s Army-Navy building in downtown Warren. The property, 321 Main Ave. S.W., was donated to the port authority in December.

The transfer to the potential developer should take place soon as well, Trevena said.

The board, which approved a $25,000 contribution to the Eastern Ohio Military Affairs Commission, also heard updates on various WRPA economic development projects, including redevelopment of the former Chemical Bank site in Boardman.

According to Randy Partika, WRPA project manager and development engineer, work is about 35% complete on the new Dunkin Donuts store being built of the former Chemical Bank in Boardman.

The building is on target for completion around April, with a potential opening by June, Partika said. It is being constructed with an angled roof to evoke the roof that was on the former bank building, a deviation from Dunkin’s standard design that required approval from Dunkin corporate, he said.

Chairman Marty Loney opened the meeting by welcoming the newest member of the WRPA board, Ed Muransky, chairman and founder of the Muransky Companies. Muransky was appointed by the Mahoning County Board of Commssioners.

Loney said Muransky would be a “great addition” to the board based on his expertise in economic development. He and Moliterno also recognized David Mosure, who served more than six years on the board, beginning with filing an unexpired term.

The board re-elected the current slate of officers: Loney as chairman, Sam Covelli as vice-chairman and Rich Edwards as secretary-treasurer.

Covelli nominated Loney to again serve as board chairman, a post he first was elected to in January 2017.

“Things are going in the right direction. I think we should keep things the way they are,” he said.

Loney requested support for reappointment of Trumbull County appointee Sterling Williams, whose term also expired at the end of 2020. He further reminded board members of three seats that will come open at the end of the year, the ones held by him, Covelli and Ron Klingle.

Pictured at top: File photo shows entrance to the steel mill site. Most of the buildings at the site have since been demolished.


Copyright 2021 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio. Wednesday, January 20, 2021. George Nelson.