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Federal grant sought for Lordstown logistics hub

YOUNGSTOWN — Eastgate Regional Council of Governments has asked for a $3.9 million federal grant to pay for phase one of a proposed project that would transform parts of North Jackson and Lordstown into a smart logistics corridor.

The Lordstown Smart Logistics Hub is an infrastructure initiative that hopes to build on the next-generation technology and warehouse industry already happening in the state Route 45 and Bailey Road corridor and capitalize on its unique location — the intersection of multiple modes of transportation, broadband and electrification — to position it as a premier distribution and warehouse hub.

Phase one would focus on immediate freight system needs, including a triple trailer transfer yard, solar powered electric vehicle charging stations and broadband fiber optic and wireless communication devices.

Eastgate and its partners have committed $1.1 million toward the project.

The organization announced Monday it had applied to the U.S. Department of Transportation for funding through its Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grant program.

An award announcement from the DOT could happen in sometime in October or November.

A funding request last year for the project was unsuccessful. Then, local officials applied for $25 million for the infrastructure improvements and a $1 million planning grant from the DOT.

This application, said Stephen Zubyk, project manager with Eastgate, is a more refined application that resulted from discussions among partners and with the DOT after the application was rejected.

The grant will position the area to be a high-tech Midwest logistics hub, building off the momentum surrounding the more than $2 billion General Motors / LG Chem battery-cell plant and Lordstown Motors Corp.

Also, a more than 1 million-square-foot distribution center for HomeGoods is operating and Macy’s plans to convert about 380,000 square feet at its North Jackson distribution center into a fulfillment center for consumer online orders.

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