By Jordyn Grzelewski
Driving onto a property at 5700 Clingan Road, one might feel as if he or she has traveled much farther than the 800-foot driveway has taken them.
They have left the busy residential road and, not far away, the hustle and bustle of U.S. Route 224. They have entered a secluded property bounded by ravines, where a spacious house sits ensconced in nature. The soft sound of a waterfall in the distance heightens the effect.
Sitting on the 5.9-acre campus is a 4,417-square-foot house that features vaulted ceilings, multiple decks and large windows that bathe the rooms in light and look out onto surrounding woods.
This, along with the four bedrooms (two of which are master suites), three full and two half-baths, great room with a fireplace, den, Florida room and attached garage could be yours.
The Clingan Road house is being auctioned by Mill Creek MetroParks, with 100 percent of the sale proceeds benefiting a $3 million renovation project at Ford Nature Center.
The property was donated to the MetroParks in 2012 by Nancy and Bruce Beeghly, whose family has a long history of philanthropy in the Mahoning Valley.
Bruce, retired president and chief executive officer of Altronic Inc. in Girard, is the grandson of Leon A. Beeghly, founder of Standard Slag along with W.E. Bliss and W.H. Kilcawley.
The Beeghly family has long supported institutions in the Mahoning Valley, including Bruce and Nancy’s recent $1 million donation to Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley and $1.5 million gift to Youngstown State University.
The Beeghlys built the Clingan Road house in 1993. The donor agreement with the MetroParks stipulated the MetroParks could sell the property after five years if the house had not been converted into a nature center or other public facility, said Aaron Young, the MetroParks executive director.
“As part of our evaluating what would be most appropriate of the property, it became really apparent to us that the property is best suited to remain a residential home and property,” Young said. “We touched base with the donors, let them know what we were leaning toward and shared with them where we were headed.”
The proceeds from the sale of the property will benefit a facility that was once a residence itself. Ford Nature Center, located on Old Furnace Road in Youngstown on the northern end of Mill Creek Park, is a stone mansion donated to the park in 1968 by the children of the late Judge John W. Ford. It has been the headquarters for the park’s nature-education programs since 1972.
The MetroParks is currently fundraising and designing a major renovation of the nature center.
“We are nearly completed with the design plans for the redevelopment of the center, with all of the planned improvements geared toward enhancing visitor experience when it comes to nature education,” said Young.
MetroParks leaders hope the Clingan Road auction will be a significant piece of the fundraising effort.
“We hope with the proceeds of this sale and some of the other donations we’ve received on behalf of the MetroParks, once we sell the home, we would be about halfway there,” Young said.
Of the donors, he said, “It’s partnerships like that and donors like the Beeghly family who understand what value the MetroParks brings to the Valley, and with their gifts we’ll be able to provide those gifts to the Valley. We’re indebted to them.”
ByceAUCTION of Youngstown is leading an online auction of the property, with the opening bid set at $175,000.
The property is valued much higher, according to Mahoning County Auditor records and a recent appraisal. The county auditor lists the current total value of the property at nearly $450,000, and the appraiser estimated the sale value at between $374,000 and $408,000. The current annual property taxes are about $9,000.
The property in the Struthers school district sits just east of Lake Hamilton and south of Yellow Creek Park.
The auction ends Aug. 22. Visit the auction site at www.byceonline.com or contact Byce Realty for more information at 330-747-7000.
Jeff Byce, founder of Byce and an auctioneer, appraiser and real-estate broker, said the property on which the house sits makes it unique.
“It is one-of-a-kind,” he said. “The location is close to everything, but it’s such a private location.”
“It’s certainly a wonderful property, and we anticipate someone getting a very nice place,” Young said.