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Port authority has potential purchaser for Warren plaza

WARREN — The Western Reserve Port Authority authorized its CEO on Wednesday to come to terms with a developer who wants to buy land the port authority controls downtown, 231 Main Ave. SW.

The board also agreed to move on a term sheet and preliminary agreement related to issuing revenue bonds and a sales tax exemption certificate for a company that is contemplating expansion in the Mahoning Valley.

CEO John Moliterno, however, could not comment much on either item, he said, without agreements in place.

But if the project, which the company remains undecided on, were to happen, “it would be a very good job creator for the Valley, so we’re very excited about that because this one would be a good one for everybody,” Moliterno said.

“It would create hundreds of jobs, but we can’t say it yet because it hasn’t been finalized, and they haven’t made their final decision yet,” he said.

The board gave Moliterno permission to negotiate a purchase agreement for a 1.05-acre piece of land and strip mall-type building that’s best-known for being the location of the former Mickey’s Army / Navy store.

The building at the corner of South Street is just one block removed from Courthouse Square also previously housed Eastern Gateway Community College’s former Warren campus. It contains a Subway restaurant and another beauty-related business, and is a site the port authority and Warren officials want to see prosper.

“They want to see something positive happen at that site as well,” Moliterno said. “We think this is an opportunity for the city and an opportunity for the port to help facilitate good things happening at that site.”

The port authority board agreed in November to accept the property as a donation from STORE Capital, a real estate investment trust based in Scottsdale, Ariz., that owns multiple facilities in the educational sector.

Also Wednesday the board agreed to renew its $25,000 three-year commitment to Eastern Ohio Military Affairs Commission. The group advocates for the retention and expansion of local military installations — Youngstown Air Reserve Station and the Camp James A. Garfield Joint Military Training Center, which straddles the border of Trumbull and Portage counties.

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