DOWNTOWN YOUNGSTOWN CIC keeps annex proposal handy

Talk is that project costs may be more than a private developer can absorb.
YOUNGSTOWN -- The city's downtown redevelopment agency is ready if private proposals don't work out to renovate the city hall annex.
The Youngstown Central Area Community Improvement Corp. won't respond to the city's request for proposals to turn the annex into space for the 7th District Court of Appeals and other offices.
Instead, CIC will remind the city of its $3.4 million proposal from earlier this year, said Reid Dulberger, executive vice president if Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber of Commerce.
He is heading the CIC staff until a new director is named.
Since CIC is the city's legally designated downtown development agency, it wouldn't be appropriate to submit a proposal with other private developers, Dulberger said.
"It's an odd relationship. We are, in effect, the city," he said.
CIC will keep its proposal handy since there was talk during a recent meeting that project costs may be more than a private developer can absorb and still make money, Dulberger said.
CIC is nonprofit and isn't concerned with making a profit.
Proposals are due Sept. 15. The city said it will make a decision by Sept. 28.
Mahoning County, which provides space to the appeals court, has extended its deadline for an answer a couple times.
Earlier this year CIC proposed its project. In July, the city decided to see if any private developers are interested.
The most attractive element of a private sector deal would be selling the building, which would bring in cash.
A 1997 appraisal put the building's value at about $625,000.
Other issues: Thursday, CIC's executive board also talked about:
U A six-foot, chain link fence that will go up next week around several downtown buildings to protect drivers and pedestrians from crumbling buildings. The barricades will cost about $3,400.
Fence will go around a section of the Master's block, behind the State Theater and the back of several buildings behind the city hall parking lot.
It's unclear if the alley behind that parking lot will have to be closed off or if there will be enough room for cars to keep passing through.
U Proposals to run CIC parking lots. AMPCO Parking and USA Parking Systems are the two bidders.
CIC revenue isn't the only consideration, officials said. Among other issues are whether to set prices or let the contractor do it and competition with private lots vs. availability of parking as a business issue.
CIC's property committee will review the proposals.

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