YBI announces campus expansion, acquires Vindicator building

Tthe Youngstown Business Incubator today announced the acquisition of the fifth building of their Tech Block campus.

Located immediately adjacent to the existing YBI campus, the new facility is the former publishing building for The Vindicator.

The building is 57,000 square foot and is constructed of reinforced structural steel and poured concrete. As a result, it can used for Additive Manufacturing start-up firms, as well as graduate space for YBI’s successful portfolio companies.

Some $5 million in state, federal and local grants will be used for the renovations to the facility. Funding was secured from the US Economic Development Administration, the State of Ohio Capital Appropriations Budget and the city of Youngstown.

Former Youngstown Mayor Jay Williams, U.S. Assistant Secretary for Commerce, is in Youngstown for the announcement.

“I am honored to be back in my hometown of Youngstown to see the impact that EDA’s $3 million investment has had on this great community firsthand,” said Williams. “Today’s groundbreaking of the Youngstown Business Incubator Tech Block Building No. 5 is a great celebration and a strong testament to the vital role public and private partnerships play in facilitating economic growth and sustainability for our nation’s communities.

"This new tech facility is expected to double YBI’s economic impact on the region, which is just beginning to capitalize on the entrepreneurial growth potential of America Makes, the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute. Youngstown is experiencing a revitalization of job creation, workforce development, and innovative entrepreneurship that will help businesses compete in the global market. EDA has been, and will continue to be, a supportive partner, and I look forward to seeing the ongoing success and future growth of YBI and our community.”

Tim Ross, Gov. John Kasich’s Regional Representative and T. Sharon Woodberry, Economic Development Director for the City of Youngstown, will also participate.

While the funding for the renovations has been provided from the public sector, YBI borrowed the funding for the acquisition of the building through a Community Development Finance Institute, Village Capital Corporation in Cleveland. VCC worked with the Raymond J. Wean Foundation in Warren, who provided the capital for the loan.

“The Wean Foundation is proud to be a part of this important project by providing loan funds to help this expansion move forward,” said Gordon Wean, chairman of the R.J. Wean Foundation. “The Foundation board and staff applaud the success of The Youngstown Business Incubator in embarking on the adaptive reuse of this building in downtown Youngstown.”

Funding has also been secured from private sources for the predevelopment phase of the project.

YBI acknowledges the support of The Thomases Foundation through the Youngstown Area Jewish Federation, The Crandall Foundation, The Youngstown Foundation, The Walter and Caroline Watson Foundation, The Fibus Family Foundation and The Burton D Morgan Foundation. Fundraising to offset the start-up costs and portions of the project outside the scope of the existing grants will continue, with naming opportunities available throughout the campus.

Ralph Resnick, Founding Director of America Makes and President and CEO of the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining, noted the importance of the facility to the continued growth of the Additive Manufacturing industry in northeast Ohio. “By creating this unique asset, YBI has helped position Youngstown as a focal point for the supply chain development for Additive Manufacturing. There are great opportunities for creating new start- ups, as well as the expansion of the existing manufacturing base within the industry."

Martin Abraham, Youngstown State University Interim Provost, discussed the importance of the project to the University. “This facility creates a physical space that takes the YSU-YBI partnership to a whole new level. By having a site that is easily accessible to the local manufacturing community, we’ll be better able to work with them as they learn the complexities of advanced manufacturing, and develop additional programs to meet their needs.”

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