Port Authority board sees economic-development work in person at Poland facility


Staff report

POLAND

The Western Reserve Port Authority board got to see the results of its economic development work in person Wednesday, as it conducted its monthly meeting at the Inn at Poland Way.

The 89-unit Briarfield Healthcare assisted-living and skilled nursing facility is off U.S. Route 224 on a road the company built especially for the facility.

About a third of the units are sold so far, and the first resident was moving in later Wednesday as workers put the finishing touches on the facility.

Ed Reese, a former Mahoning County commissioner and CEO of Briarfield, thanked the port authority for the capital-lease financing and tax-increment financing his company received to help bring down the cost. “Without your help, quite frankly, I don’t think we could have done it,” Reese said of the project.

Briarfield CFO Robert Rupeka said the capital lease, which eliminates sales taxes paid on construction materials, saved the company $250,000 to $300,000 on the project.

Another $350,000 savings is being realized through the TIF, which allows the company to pay for the construction of the road on its property taxes over time.

The facility, which looks like a hotel, has 64 assisted-living units and 25 memory-care units. It is the sixth Briarfield assisted-living/skilled nursing facility in the Youngstown area and second new one in the past four years.

It has a theater and courtyard with a putting green.

Anthony Trevena, economic-development director for the port authority’s Northeast Ohio Development and Finance Authority, said the Inn at Poland Way is one of two such facilities the port authority is assisting with financing tools.

And because people are living longer and the baby-boomer generation is retiring, there are several other such facilities being built in the Mahoning Valley.

Diane Reese, Briarfield president, said another reason for growth in demand for such facilities is the increase in the number of people being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia.

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