Economic team opens satellite office

WARREN — The Western Reserve Port Authority’s economic development wing is setting up a satellite office inside the Tech Belt Energy Innovation Center.

Anthony Trevena, director of the port authority’s Northeast Ohio Development and Finance Authority, said the expansion to the Warren center at 125 W. Market St. will allow his department to grow its footprint in Trumbull County. He said his team will continue to also work out of its 240 N. Champion St., Youngstown, office.

“TBEIC is a nice facility where we can schedule appointments, use the conference areas for meetings,” he said. “This will give us an increased presence in Trumbull County.”

Plans for the new office were announced Thursday during a joint meeting among the port authority and commissioners from Trumbull and Mahoning counties.

Last year, the port authority agreed to donate $100,000 to TBEIC in annual increments of $25,000 for entrepreneurial counseling and other services for business startups.

Trevena said he plans to set up office hours at TBEIC in the next several weeks. Hours also may be scheduled by appointment, he said.

The port authority agreed to the donation to help TBEIC match funding from JumpStart, a Cleveland-based private-public partnership that focuses on assisting entrepreneurs and business startups, made available through the Ohio Third Frontier program.

TBEIC opened the doors of its 37,000-square-foot building on Courthouse Square to tenants in 2015. Dave Nestic, the center’s general manager, said it has about eight tenants and is looking to add more.

An agreement for the port authority to lease the office space is being finalized, Trevena said.

He also provided updates on various ongoing economic development activities and projects taking shape in both counties.

Dan Dickten, aviation director at the Youngstown Warren Regional Airport, discussed renovations and upgrades to the terminal, tarmac and exterior. The port authority runs the local airport in Vienna where Thursday’s meeting was held.