Youngstown will be the home of the world’s only self-chilling beverage-can business


By David Skolnick

skolnick@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

The city expects a $20 million complex and technology site to produce the world’s only self-chilling beverage cans will open in 2018 on a largely vacant East Side neighborhood.

Joseph Co. International will start construction next month with four production buildings and its headquarters bounded by Oak Street, Lane Avenue, Fruit Street and Himrod Avenue, said Mayor John A. McNally.

Production buildings will be finished by late summer 2017 and in full operation by 2018, McNally said.

The project will “provide a destination of interest as the technology will be showcased globally,” he said.

The company will start with 50 employees and have 257 after three years in business, said city Finance Director David Bozanich.

The city will provide about $1.5 million in grants along with a tax abatement for the company, he said.

The 75-percent, 10-year real-property tax abatement will save the company $313,142 over the life of the abatement, with Joseph paying $86,841 during that time.

The company’s payroll will be $5 million once its fully operational with jobs paying minimum wage to $20 an hour. Based on the payroll, the average job will pay $10 an hour.

City council will consider the development deal at its Wednesday meeting.

While city officials have privately discussed the proposal for several months, Monday’s council housing and economic development committee meeting was the first time it was talked about in public.

Mitchell Joseph, chief executive officer of the company, is a Youngstown native and a fourth-generation Joseph family member in the beverage industry. His company is building this complex at the same location of where his great-grandfather founded and operated Star Bottling Co. from 1921 to 1970.

“We are excited about this project and the world-class beverage technology applications that will be developed on this campus,” McNally said.

The company, currently based in Irvine, Calif., has the trademark to the “chill-can,” which allows a drink to be chilled in less than a minute.

The location of the business has been a topic of some controversy with a few residents on the 21-acre location saying they don’t want to move. City council changed the area’s zoning designation last month from residential to green industrial.

But Bozanich said of the 100 or so property owners in that area, there are only three who haven’t signed deals with the city as of today.

City officials said Natarasha Gillam of North Lane Avenue, one of the more-vocal holdouts in selling her house to the city, has come to an agreement. But officials couldn’t provide details and attempts Monday by The Vindicator to contact her to comment were unsuccessful.

The other vocal holdout has been Bertha Tillis, also of North Lane Avenue. She rejected a $12,000 offer by the city for her house.

Audrey Tillis, her daughter-in-law, said that the city has upped the offer, but her mother-in-law has given a certain price for the house and the city hasn’t reached that amount. She declined to discuss the amounts.

The Joseph business deal “is a great thing for the city. It will bring in jobs,” Tillis said. “It’s one of the reasons she is willing to move.”

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