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Council to consider grants and loans to two businesses

Published: Wed, July 24, 2013 @ 12:05 a.m.

By David Skolnick



City council will consider legislation today to provide grants and loans to two businesses that want to spend $9 million combined to expand and relocate in Youngstown.

Strollo Architects is planning a $4 million rehabilitation project of the long- vacant Wells Building, 201 W. Federal St.

The proposal includes the company’s headquarters on the ground floor and a portion of the basement, with 12 apartments on the upper three floors.

The architectural company, which employs 20, is working to finalize financing for the project, said Gregg Strollo, the company’s president and principal.

Work on the 96-year-old building must begin by Aug. 1 for the company to remain eligible for $1.8 million in state and federal tax credits.

Council will vote today on authorizing the board of control to enter into a development agreement with Strollo Architects.

That agreement includes:

A 12-month loan of up to $2 million at an interest rate of 0.25 percent. Under conditions of the city loan, Strollo needs an irrevocable letter of credit from an accredited lending institution to receive the money. If the company were to default, the city would receive the money borrowed from that lending institution.

Up to a $520,000 grant for water and wastewater improvements.

Up to a $100,000 grant from the Youngstown Initiative Program, which provides money for companies opening and relocating in the city.

A 12-year real-property tax abatement.

The details of the abatement won’t be available until after the work is done.

Also, Commercial Metal Forming at 1775 Logan Ave. is spending $5 million on an expansion project.

The company is spending $2 million on a new, 10,000-square-foot office building and $3 million for new equipment and training.

The office-building project is to start in September or October, and take five or six months to complete, said T. Sharon Woodberry, the city’s economic- development director.

Commercial Metal employs 124, and makes tank heads and custom stamping for transportation, gas and oil industries.

The city’s economic incentives for Commercial Metal include:

A 75-percent, 10-year real-property tax abatement for the $2 million building. The company would pay $33,600 and save $101,016 in taxes over the 10-year period, Woodberry said.

A 12-month loan of up to $2 million at an interest rate of 0.25 percent. The Commercial Metal loan would have the same conditions as the proposed Strollo loan.

Up to a $50,000 grant for water and wastewater improvements.

Up to a $100,000 grant from the Youngstown Initiative Program.

Up to a $20,000 grant for exterior improvements.

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