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Sole bid for Mahoning annex falls below minimum

Published: Thu, November 21, 2013 @ 12:08 a.m.

By Peter H. Milliken



A nonprofit organization was the sole bidder for the Mahoning County South Side Annex, and its $75,000 bid was far below the minimum bid the county commissioners had advertised for the former county office building.

Warriors Inc., 2733 Market St., which operates the Eagle’s Christian Preschool across Hylda Avenue from the annex, said in a document filed with its bid that it wants to use the annex at 2801 Market St. to expand its preschool, offer more services to youths and offer services to families in conjunction with other nonprofit organizations.

The bid, which was opened Wednesday in the county purchasing office, is far short of the advertised minimum bid of $426,667 for the annex, which was appraised at $640,000.

James Fortunato, county purchasing director, said the county commissioners could call for a reappraisal of the building and might sell it at auction.

Warriors said it wants to build an indoor play area and community room, update the sprinkler system, remove asbestos as necessary, replace non-functioning boilers, build an outdoor playground and increase parking-lot lighting.

“Improvements will be made in several phases as programming and occupancy is increased. A majority of the improvements will be completed within five years,” Warriors said.

The initial phase will develop 10,000 square feet, update the sprinkler system, remove some asbestos and rezone the heating, the organization said. The two-story annex, which was built in 1957, contains a total of 97,232 square feet.

The county bought the annex, which had been a Sears and Treasure Island department store, from the Cafaro Co. for $1.6 million in 1975.

The now-vacant annex once housed a host of county offices. The last county agency to leave was the auto-title department, which moved to Oakhill Renaissance Place in October 2012.

Other annex occupants that moved to Oakhill were the board of elections, recycling division and veterans service commission.

Oakhill is the former Forum Health Southside Medical Center, 345 Oak Hill Ave., which the county bought in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in 2006.


1author50(1121 comments)posted 10 months ago

I bid a buck and my idea was to empty Oakhill back to the Annex and then sell Oakhill to Southside Redevelopment to open it up as a hospital.

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2Ianacek(909 comments)posted 10 months ago

I'll assume the $1.6 million the County paid in 1975 was a fair market price , not a Cafaro special . That would be $7 million in today's money . Someone has "valued" it now at $640,000 , which represents a 92% loss , & the valuation placed on it by the sole bidder represents a 99% loss .
In normal cities , commercial real estate rises in value over the long term , being pushed up by the rising skills & market incomes of the surrounding communities .
So maybe elsewhere , we would be looking at a $10 million valuation for a well maintained building needing some readaptive renovation & maybe half of that would be site value .
For decades , County Commissioners let the uptown neighborhood collapse around them , turning a blind eye to the sleaze at City Hall .

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