Wednesday, July 3, 2019
Mercy Health mulling $250M hospital at site
By David Skolnick
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency issued final certification to North Eastwood LLC’s Enterprise Park project for a potential medical campus in Howland, near Eastwood Mall.
The campus, if built, would include a hospital, assisted-living center, medical and office buildings, medical education center and residential apartments and/or condominiums.
Mercy Health had been considering a $250 million St. Joseph Warren Hospital at that location as part of the proposed $367 million Cafaro Co. project.
Mercy Health put those plans on hold in December after news of the idling of the General Motors Lordstown plant. It, however, has yet to make a final decision.
Joe Bell, Cafaro Co. spokesman, said the park is on 103 undeveloped acres with the actual area to be developed at about 50 acres.
This proposed project, he said, has the potential to create about 2,200 jobs, generate about $99 million of annual payroll taxes, $443,000 annually in state sales taxes and more than $6 million a year in real-estate taxes.
The Tuesday certification by the EPA “is an important step forward in the process to create Enterprise Park,” Bell said. “This project is vitally important to the economy of the Mahoning Valley and the welfare of its citizens. Members of the development team for Enterprise Park are delighted to know that state officials recognize that this project will be implemented in a thoughtful and environmentally responsible manner.”
Bell added that the “Cafaro Co. will now be proceeding diligently to create Enterprise Park,” but more work still needs to be done before breaking ground.
That includes approval from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
The certification is a required component of an application with the Corps, which would allow the discharge of dredged or fill material into streams and wetlands during the construction phase of the project, according to the state EPA.
Discharges from the project will impact wetlands and streams within the Lower Mosquito Creek watershed. To offset these impacts, North Eastwood will preserve approximately 27 acres of forested wetlands and more than 5,000 linear feet of streams on the site, and purchase stream and wetland mitigation credits in other areas.
Before finalizing the permit, the EPA said it reviewed the company’s application to ensure it would comply with federal and state standards, laws and regulations.
Regarding the medical education center, Bell said discussions have occurred between Youngstown State University and Kent State University at Trumbull in order to develop the facility, which would include health training programs such as counseling, physical therapy, pharmacy technology, dental hygiene, respiratory therapy and nursing.
Though the location is in Howland, Mercy Health officials have indicated they would want the new hospital annexed into Warren.