YOUNGSTOWN — City Council today plans to authorize the Board of Control to hire a contractor and pay up to $6.25 million for the remediation and partial demolition project at 20 Federal Place.
The council’s finance committee recommended on Monday that the council approve legislation allowing the board of control to publish proposals and contract with the lowest and highest bidder for the work. The council is meeting today.
The city will solicit proposals for the work early next month and award a contract early this year, said Charles Shasho, the city’s deputy director of public works.
“If all goes well, work will start in mid-January or late January,” he said. “It’s a very tight deadline.”
Indeed, as part of a $6,962,250 grant from the Ohio Brownfields Remediation Program the city received for 20 Federal Place, the work is required to be completed by June 30, 2023.
The original goal was to get proposals for the work by October 31, but companies wanting to redevelop the city-owned building changed their plans, causing a delay.
Desmone Architects, a Pittsburgh firm selected by the city to redevelop the building, worked with National Real Estate Development, a Philadelphia firm with a portfolio of more than $1 billion of properties under development that has expressed “an interest in pursue an investment” at 20 Federal Place. , about the changes.
The changes were approved on November 1 by the city’s design review board.
The proposal for the 332,000 square foot building includes restoration of the West Commerce, West Federal and North Phelps Street entrances; demolish the three-storey mezzanine on the Commerce Street side of the building, where the food court is located; build a skylight in the roof that would create natural light down to the ground floor; underground parking for 62 vehicles; cafes, a potential grocery store and other food businesses on the first floor.
Additionally, three large offices would be available on the second floor, which would also have outdoor patio space with 154 third- through eighth-floor living units.
The total project is expected to cost $74 million with 20 Federal Place LLC, which consists of Desmone and National Real Estate Development, claiming a tax credit of $7.4 million for the city’s transformational mixed-use development program. Ohio, as well as $24 million to $26 million in federal grants and state historic preservation tax credits.
Meanwhile, the city received a proposal for a construction manager to oversee the project.
The city had estimated the cost of this work at $800,000, but the only quote from MS Consultants Inc. of Youngstown was $160,000.
That cost could increase if the contractor hired for the remediation and demolition work decides to work around the clock, as this is an indoor project with a tight deadline, Shasho said. But it should still be considerably lower than the estimate, he said.
A review of MS’s proposal is underway and is expected to be submitted to the Board of Control for approval soon, Shasho said.
Shasho said he was surprised the city only received one proposal because a number of companies have shown interest in the project.
In addition to state funding for the work at 20 Federal Place, the city is providing $2.3 million of its own money. In addition to the remediation and demolition work and the management of the project, the other money goes towards various technical services to obtain the tax credits.
The city purchased the building at 20 W. Federal St. in November 2004 after Phar-Mor, a national retail store company, went out of business. The property was the Phar-Mor Center, the company’s headquarters. Prior to that, it was the flagship location of Strouss Department Store for decades, closing in 1986.
All but four of the 19 tenants who occupied the building have left, chief legal officer Jeff Limbian said.
Plaza Optometrists will be released in a few weeks, he said.
The city has made deals with the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation and a fiber optic company to stay there until the end of the year.
The city filed an eviction notice in court Sept. 27 against the owners of the Subway restaurant. The owners sued the city on September 30 for breach of contract and are seeking at least $100,000 in damages. The case is in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court.
The restaurant has been closed for a few days, Limbian said.