WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – Ground was broken Tuesday on a new industrial park in Warren.

Governor Mike DeWine, Congressman David Joyce and others helped turn the first shovel for the West Warren Industrial Park on Nevada Avenue.

Sepientia Ventures is developing the park.

“This is the first major investment in a neighborhood, in a greenfield so to speak, since the Warren Western Reserve was built,” said Mayor Doug Franklin.

The Western Reserve Port Authority approved the 86-acre project in February. The park will offer space for existing local companies looking to expand and attract companies from outside the area.

The need for the park was fueled by large entities such as Ultium Cells and Foxconn coming to the area and the supply chain opportunities those plants brought with them, according to Anthony Trevena, executive director of the Western Reserve Port Authority.

“Think of e-commerce companies. Think of companies that have to do high volumes of distribution, or it’s going to attract a manufacturer that needs clean space,” said Mike Martof, Sapientia Ventures.

The property the park will sit on is owned by the City of Warren and Warren City Schools and is three miles from key state routes and downtown Warren. In the 1940s, the area was used for military housing and those who worked at the old Ravenna arsenal. The infrastructure is a big plus.

“We have the roads. We have the water. We have the sewer. We have the electricity. We don’t have to bring the utilities in. It’s pretty much shovel-ready,” said Chuck George, with Sapientia Ventures.

DeWine praised the developers for, as he put it, putting their money where their mouths are.

“You think, from a business point of view, that the future of Warren is good. The future of the Mahoning Valley is very, very positive,” DeWine said.

Warren Pastor George Johnson knew this land was destined for development after building his church nearby 18 years ago.

“It was prophesized what would happen, and I think God for it,” he said.

Construction could begin next spring with the first building ready for occupancy in late 2024.