The agency plans to move to the building's mezzanine area next month.
YOUNGSTOWN -- The Phar-Mor Centre has another tenant coming -- the Youngstown Central Area Community Improvement Corp.
The group's property committee voted Tuesday to approve a lease agreement with Strouss Building Associates not to exceed $8 a square foot or $1,800 a month.
The city's downtown development agency announced late last year that it was looking for a new home.
Jason Whitehead, CIC executive director, said the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles, which is on the first floor of the George V. Voinovich Center, is looking to expand. The CIC agreed to surrender its conference room and office in the Voinovich center to free up 2,100 square feet for the BMV.
Whitehead said staff had looked at leasing space in the City Centre One and National City Bank buildings and other downtown areas.
He said, however, that after mulling the options, the decision was made to lease space in the Phar-Mor Centre, once the corporate headquarters for the Phar-Mor discount retail chain in the 1980s and 1990s.
Whitehead said Strouss Building Associates now negotiates lease deals with building tenants.
The city, however, is in the process of buying the building, once the home of the Strouss Department Store, and Whitehead hoped negotiations with the city would drop the lease agreement to $4 or $5 a square foot.
Whitehead said plans call for CIC's new offices to be on the building's mezzanine floor, and the agency's staff hopes to move in during the first half of February.
G. Richard Pavlock, a committee member, said it was a good move on the CIC's part to locate to the Phar-Mor Centre. "It shows we support that building and its revitalization," Pavlock said.
James Miller, who chaired the meeting, said the move also sends a positive statement to the other tenants in the building.
Late last year, InfoCision, the Akron-area based teleservice company, announced it would open a call center on the Phar-Mor Centre's fourth floor.
In other business, the property committee selected Bochert Bros. Painting & amp; Decorating of Boardman to handle the painting of suites in the Voinovich center.
The company was the lowest of three bidders for the work, Whitehead said.
Bochert will do the job for $27,680. Ohio One, which provides maintenance services for the Voinovich center for CIC, will oversee Bochert's work for $4,152, bringing the total project cost to $31,832, Whitehead said.
Other bidders were Al Donofrio Paint & amp; Wallcoverings Inc. of Austintown at $38,053 and Joseph Painting Contractors of Boardman at $37,870.
Whitehead explained that the CIC, as the building owner, is required to paint tenant suites every three years and replace carpeting in those suites every six years if needed.
The Lottery Commission office was painted last year, and the CIC wants to finish the other suites this year.