Mental Health Board seeks tenants for YDC property

By Justin Wier


With a new state budget that approves the transfer of the Youngstown Developmental Center property to the Mahoning County Mental Health and Recovery Board, the board and Meridian HealthCare are searching for tenants.

The 35-acre campus at 4891 E. County Line Road, near Mineral Ridge, previously served as a state-run facility that housed people with developmental disabilities. It closed June 30.

Duane Piccirilli, executive director of the county mental health board, said it wants to create a hub for nonprofits serving vulnerable Valley residents.

State Sen. Joe Schiavoni of Boardman, D-33rd, added the amendment to the state budget. He fought to keep YDC from closing, and he said this is the best outcome now that closure is a reality.

“We thought this was a way we could continue to have services in that facility that served the most vulnerable populations in the Valley,” Schiavoni said.

Meridian HealthCare plans to partner with the mental health board to manage the property.

Larry Moliterno, Meridian president and CEO, said the goal is to have several social-service organizations sharing one facility.

“We’ve never had anything in the Valley like that,” he said. “It’s pretty unique.”

Area Agency on Aging 11, Potential Development, Easter Seals, Compass Family & Community Services and Alta Behavioral Healthcare have shown interest in the facility.

“We’re looking at services the neighbors are going to be comfortable with because we want to be a good neighbor,” Moliterno said.

Piccirilli said they’ve ruled out addiction treatment but are considering services for senior citizens.

The residential buildings that served as homes for the developmentally disabled could be used for assisted living for the elderly or those with autism, he said.

Tenants’ rents would cover maintenance of roads and infrastructure, which Moliterno said would cost about $1 million annually once the facility is fully occupied.

No levy or general fund money can be used to operate the facility, Piccirilli said.

Both Meridian and the mental health board are searching for the right mix of tenants that will make operating the facility possible.

“We just have to get the word out that now we’ve got it, and now we’ve got to do it,” Piccirilli said.