A strong market for commercial real estate – Business Journal Daily

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — Commercial real estate agents in the Mahoning Valley say they are busier than they have been in years, and new market momentum is partly spurred by development in the Mahoning Valley. voltage.

According to Dan Crouse of Platz Realty, the market is “globally hot” with industrial spaces, offices and mini-plazas also attracting a lot of investor attention. Last year, the activity increased by 30 to 40%, which he attributes to the delay of the year. But 2022 started before last year, he notes.

“If it continues like this, I will easily surpass last year,” Crouse said. “There is more business and more interest in this area than I think any of us ever imagined.”

He attributes this to investors looking to “have cash in hand in case something bad happens,” Crouse says, or put their money in durable assets. “We are fortunate to be on both ends of this.”

Currently, flex space of 3,000 to 5,000 square feet “is still king” in the area and usually disappears when it hits the market, according to Crouse.

“Any 3,000 to 5,000 foot flex space that was worthwhile is gone. You can’t build it or convert it fast enough,” he says. “Think about it. It’s the small business taking its first steps out of someone’s garage or basement. And that’s always a good sign. »

DOWNTOWN WARREN

The town of Warren has been particularly busy, Crouse continues, and not everything is in Courthouse Square. There is tape space for sale and recently reached an agreement with Color 3 Embroidery Inc., which moved from its former location on Chestnut Avenue to Mahoning Avenue, quadrupling its space.

“It’s all downtown. It’s moving,” he said. “It’s maybe five blocks from the courthouse.”

One corridor that has been surprisingly busy is Meridian Road, says Jim Grantz, agent at Edward J. Lewis Inc., Youngstown.

In less than a year, the Lewis agency has sold and let a number of properties in this area, all related to the industry. Most of the businesses are local expansions or businesses from other parts of Ohio that wanted locations in the Mahoning Valley, Grantz says.

Projects include the Grace Services Inc. expansion building, a 62,000 square foot extension for Modern Builders Supply Inc., and spaces for Cleveland and Akron-based businesses.

The Lewis agency has also secured 13,000 square feet of space off Meridian Road for I-Master Corp., and an additional 48,000 square feet on Connecticut Avenue in a nearby cul-de-sac, he says.

Korea-based I-Master will work closely with electric vehicle battery factory Ultium Cells LLC in Lordstown, he said.

“The reason I-Master came here is because of the battery factory and the fact that they’re going to send some components into the factory for production,” says Grantz. “They wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for that.”

Freeway access and customer base draw businesses to Meridian Road, he says. There’s not a lot of industrial space available, he says, and what’s available is “moving pretty fast.”

North Jackson has been hot for a while, he says. Grantz completed four deals in about a year there, including the sale of 15 acres of property that surrounds the Dunkin Donuts at the intersection of Mahoning Avenue and Bailey Road. Another 25 acres for sale on the northwest corner of the intersection is attracting interest

“As soon as I put it on a few minor marketing pages that I use on the internet, I started getting phone calls,” he says. “I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s under contract soon.”

Grantz also sold the property where Quality Metals Inc. is being built inside Youngstown Commerce Park, as well as the buildings on either side of the site: one to a trucking company and the other to a of construction.

“They both spent considerable sums to rehabilitate buildings that were built in the 90s,” he says. “This whole cul-de-sac is basically new between the new construction building and the two that have been updated.”

Grantz agrees that areas like Austintown and Mineral Ridge are poised for more growth due to industrial activity in Lordstown.

“From an industry perspective, there’s a synergy where more does more,” he says. “I see the activity generated by the projects in Lordstown as requiring goods and services, such as restaurants, hotel rooms [and] living places for people.

Urban residential properties are popular, particularly rental properties, as investors seek to capitalize on the influx of tenants coming to work on the Ultium Cells LLC project, Platz’s Crouse says.

A building he recently sold at 112-118 E. Market St. in Warren has an apartment on the upper floors, “and there’s potential for more,” he says.

“And the buyer has looked at that, knowing that a lot of people are moving in for [Ultium] or Foxconn are usually city dwellers,” he says. “These are Taiwanese or Koreans who are usually city dwellers where they are used to living in an urban environment. And so their hope is to have these apartments ready for these people to move into when they arrive in Warren.

MULTI-FAMILY PROPERTIES

Vince Hillard hasn’t seen much in office leasing, but multi-family residential properties are doing well. Hillard covers western Pennsylvania and Boardman for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Stouffer Realty, and says he’s busier in the Buckeye State.

Between a shortage of single-family homes driving up costs and rental rates rising due to increased renters, multi-family properties in the Mahoning Valley are seeing increased interest, he says. Hillard has four six-plexes under contract on West Boulevard in Boardman and another on Wolosyn Circle in Poland.

“I had 50 agents calling me on my list,” Hillard says. “This market is very hot. Multifamily buildings are crazy right now.

The cost of constructing new buildings is also driving interest in existing properties, he adds. With the high cost of building materials, building a new sixplex would cost at least $500,000, he says.

Pictured: Edward J. Lewis Inc. secured this building near Meridian Road in Austintown for I-Master Corp., a South Korea-based industrial automation company that works closely with Ultium Cells LLC.

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