$2M loan sought by downtown developer for Erie Terminal

Terminal would house deli, pub, apartments in $8M plan

By David Skolnick



City council will consider legislation today to loan $2 million and give $350,000 to the developer of the Erie Terminal.

U.S. Campus Suites of Poland plans to spend about $8.4 million to convert the vacant industrial building downtown into a 65-bed apartment complex on the upper five floors with a coffee shop, a deli and a pub on its first floor.

In addition to the $350,000, to be used for water utility expenses, and the $2 million loan, U.S. Campus Suites is also seeking waivers on building permits and water and sewer tap-in fees for the structure at 112 W. Commerce St.

The project is planned as rental housing for Youngstown State University graduate students and upperclassmen as well as young professionals. Completion is expected next year.

The requests need final approval from the city’s board of control.

Under conditions of the city loan, U.S. Campus Suites must receive a $2 million irrevocable letter of credit from an accredited lending institution. If the company defaults on the loan, the city would receive the money borrowed from that bank.

The company would borrow the money at a 0.25 percent interest rate for up to 12 months.

U.S. Campus Suites borrowed $2 million in 2009 from the city for its $8 million, 114-bed Flats at Wick student-housing complex near YSU. The company repaid the loan in 10 months.

Also today, council will consider legislation to provide $200,000 for water-utility expenses at two proposed Bottom Dollar Food stores.

The proposal, which needs board of control approval, would give $100,000 to each store — a $4.72 million, 18,279-square-foot supermarket at 621 W. Princeton Ave. and a $6.52 million to $7.75 million, 18,249-square-foot store at 890 E. Midlothian Blvd.

City council approved tax abatements for the two stores last month that would save the grocery-store chain about $1.1 million in taxes over 10 years. However, council must approve the abatement again today for the East Midlothian store because there wasn’t an address on the legislation it initially approved May 18.

Council will also consider waiving fees today for building permits and water and sewer tap-ins for the two stores as well as a third Bottom Dollar supermarket to be built at 3377 Mahoning Ave. in the Mahoning Plaza. It isn’t known when that store would open.