The new building would be centrally located across the street from the bus transportation hub.
By PETER H. MILLIKEN
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
YOUNGSTOWN -- The downtown redevelopment agency wants the Mahoning County Children Services Board to return to the central business district after an 18-year absence to help anchor West Federal Street.
County commissioners say they're willing to listen to a proposal.
The Youngstown Central Area Community Improvement Corp. is proposing demolition of seven vacant, dilapidated CIC-owned buildings in the former Masters Tuxedo complex on West Federal Street to make way for construction of a CIC-owned office building, where CSB would lease space.
CSB has been in the county-owned South Side Annex, 2801 Market St., since late 1983, when it moved from rented quarters in the Stambaugh Building downtown.
Cost: CSB would pay CIC from $210,000 to $643,000 a year in rent for the two-story building, with 35,000 square feet of office space, which CSB alone would occupy under a 30-year lease, said Reid Dulberger, executive vice president of the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber, which staffs CIC.
Included in the rent payment, CIC would provide security, maintenance, utilities, insurance and any debt service.
The amount of rent would depend on the cost of financing the building, with the $210,000 figure based on a debt-free building, Dulberger said. The building, constructed to suit CSB, would cost about $5 million to build, exclusive of financing costs, and could be ready for occupancy in 12 to 15 months, he said.
There would be 100 enclosed parking spaces on two levels at the base of the building, which will occupy a sloping site, Dulberger told the CSB on Tuesday.
Location: The site is readily accessible and centrally located across the street from Federal Station, the bus transportation center for the Western Reserve Transit Authority and Greyhound.
"We are very excited about the opportunity that you may come downtown. We will do anything and everything we can to make that happen," Dulberger told the board.
CSB's facilities committee has endorsed the Masters site, said Pete Lymber, committee chairman. The full CSB took no action on the proposal but referred the matter to its lawyer, Thomas Infante, for further study. Lymber said he hopes the proposal can be brought before the full board for a vote next month.
Dulberger said he thinks approval of the county commissioners would be required to authorize CSB's move to the new building.
Ideally, CSB would be in a county-owned building, Lymber said, but commissioners likely would prefer making payments on a long-term lease rather than commit themselves to an immediate multimillion-dollar construction expense. The county could assume ownership of the new CSB building at a later date, he said.
What officials say: Commissioner Ed Reese and county Administrator Gary Kubic said that's likely to be a part of any lease agreement commissioners sign for a CSB building, regardless of where it is.
Kubic said commissioners have been shopping for a new home for CSB since they inked a deal with the Mahoning Valley Drug Task Force to take over the entire second floor of the South Side Annex. They'd like to keep the agency downtown, and that most likely means it will be in a CIC-owned building, he said.
They've talked with CIC about leasing space for the agency but have not discussed specific numbers. He said the agency currently pays $203,000 a month for its lease.
"We need to upgrade the facility from where they are now," Kubic said. "People support Children Services, and they should have a good facility."