CIC Building sale urged by panel

The CIC isn't moving its offices.
YOUNGSTOWN -- The sale of three vacant buildings on West Federal Street by the downtown redevelopment agency to a company should be finalized by mid-March.
The Youngstown Central Area Community Improvement Corp.'s property committee voted Tuesday to recommend that the agency's board finalize the sale of the three buildings. The full board meets Tuesday. Reid Dulberger, a CIC staffer, said the board would authorize CIC officials to sign a contract for the sale to P & amp;P Development.
Discussed the sale
The CIC and P & amp;P have discussed the sale for more than a year. But delays in securing financing held up the sale. Key Bank has agreed to finance the project, Dulberger said. If the project fails, the CIC would reclaim the three buildings, he said.
The company will pay the CIC $24,000 to buy the Wells Building, the Armed Forces building, and the State Theater. Wells is worth $24,000, and the two other buildings are worthless, according to an appraisal from Gregory Vantell Associates Ltd., hired about a year ago by the CIC.
P & amp;P plans to develop the four-story Wells Building with a restaurant and retail stores on the first floor, office space on the second and third floors, and about five high-end studio apartments on the upper floor, said Denise Powell, a P & amp;P co-partner with Gael Pullen of Cleveland. Powell owns James & amp; Weaver Inc., a Youngstown office supply business.
P & amp;P plans
P & amp;P plans to spend about $1.7 million to improve the Wells Building, and to demolish most of the two other buildings and use the space for parking. The company will keep the facades of the two other buildings, and spend money to improve and reinforce the facades.
Also, the CIC canceled plans to relocate its offices from the George V. Voinovich Center to the former Phar-Mor Centre, now called 20 Federal Place. The CIC property committee recommended last month that it sign a lease agreement with Strouss Building Associates to move to the building.
That was considered because the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles needs more space to expand at the Voinovich Center.
Instead, the Ohio Lottery Commission agreed to give up some warehouse space that will be rented to the BMV. The commission and the BMV are located on the center's first floor; the CIC is on the fourth floor.
The property committee also heard that construction to the $7 million Mahoning County Children Services Board building, adjacent to the Voinovich Center, is finished.
The Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation will occupy the second floor, and is already moving furniture into the building. The BWC will open in a few weeks, Dulberger said. CSB could be moved in as early as mid-March, he said.