YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A downtown Youngstown project expected to cost over $70 million is moving forward, despite missing two major funding sources this year.

“I think we’re actually in really great shape,” said Doug Rasmussen, CEO of Steadfast City Economic & Community Partners, the company hired by the city to assist with the project.

The 20 Federal Place redevelopment project is underway. It has already acquired $6.9 million in funding from a Brownfield Remediation Program for demolition work. However, it was not chosen for two other grants that would have allocated roughly $18 million in funding.

The city of Youngstown currently owns the building but has recently leased it out to the newly formed 20 Federal Place, LLC, under the control of Desmone Group of Pittsburgh, in order to fully renovate the building. The developer of the project has plans for the building, including large-unit apartments and office space.

The Transformational Mixed-Use Development Program would have brought the project $7.5 million and the Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program would have brought in $10 million. However, the project was not chosen for either.

These state funding sources would have also brought along the ability to submit a request for a federal historic tax credit, which would have garnered an estimated $15 million, sources tell us.

In total, over $30 million in funding was missed.

This doesn’t mean that the funding is gone for good, though. Rasmussen says it’s not uncommon for these requests to be denied the first time around and that there will be an opportunity to reapply for the funding in 2023.

“It’s pretty typical… to kind of have to take a second bite at the apple for some of these programs, so we’re optimistic that we’ll be successful in the early part of 2023,” Rasmussen said.

“The remediation of 20 Federal was not contingent on anything except the Brownfield grant. The other two potential funding sources were just sought to try to entice a private developer. We will still have a remediated building in 2023. We are very pleased and moving forward,” city Law Director Jeff Limbian said in a statement sent to First News.

First News asked what will happen if the funding is not approved again next year.

“There are other tools as well that could be potentially tapped, so this area is eligible for the Federal New Markets Tax Credit, which would be another potential source or backup source, you know, if these other credits didn’t come through, it is a federal opportunity zone; there are some other funding dollars,” Rasmussen said.

The deadline to apply for the Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program for next year is March 31, and the awardees will be announced on or before June 30. The Transformational Mixed-Use Development Program will also be open for applications in the fall.

The fact that the funding was not approved this year does not push back the project deadline, as long as the developers can get the necessary funding approved by the end of 2023.