WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – Warren residents gathered Monday evening to ask questions about the development of some land on the city’s southwest side.
Right off Nevada Avenue SW, two plots of land are going to be part of a new industrial park. The developer is looking to go from that spot and build all the way through Deemer Park.
The two plots of land are mostly just high grass at the moment, and down the road, Deemer Park looks run down. Along with the high grass sits areas where basketball and tennis courts used to be and an old football field. Developer Mike Martof saw this as an opportunity.
“The West Lawn project is going to represent, over a period of years, approximately 1 million square feet of manufacturing and distribution space,” Martof said.
The initial project will start at 100,000 square feet and about $10-12 million will be invested.
Martof is looking to lease with companies to become tenants in the buildings they plan to build.
“It’s going to be concrete buildings that are going to be built to last. We’re talking about buildings that have 30, 40, 50-year lifespan,” Martof said.
The industrial park will be used for light manufacturing, which is for more technology use.
The land was owned by both the city and Warren City Schools. The sale was made possible through the Western Reserve Port Authority.
One concern that was brought up Monday evening was about a tax abatement.
“They get a tax break to get in and whenever the tax break is over, they move 200 feet out of the county so they don’t have to pay taxes again,” said Warren resident James Clevenger.
“The developers in front of you have no interest in applying for any type of tax abatement. That was one of the things the schools asked too,” said community development director Mike Keys.
Keys says the roads and the bridge in that area will see improvement, along with the water and sewer lines.
Martof says the need for this type of industrial park in the Valley is high.
“If you try to find a 32-foot clear high-ceiling building, right now for industrial, it doesn’t exist in the entire Mahoning Valley,” Martof said.
Overall, Mayor Doug Franklin, council members and the majority of people Monday evening were in favor of this development.
“I welcome you people with open arms. We need to grow this city back up to what it once was. We can’t do that without everybody pitching in,” said Warren resident Paul Yannucci.
The hope is to start construction within the next few months.