Appalachian Basin

*UPDATE* Mahoning Valley Industrial Parks Filling Up on Oil, Natural Gas Investment

UPDATE (6/4/2013 12:00 pm ET): The Ohio Commerce Center has improved vastly in the past three years, thanks in part to shale development.  Owners George and Spiro Bakeris purchased the park three years ago and have since invested millions of dollars to improve infrastructure and attract new tenants.

Workers are continuing construction on new rail infrastructure improvements, which have actually brought in a new tenant from the oil and gas industry. Salt Lake City-based Savage Services, a materials handling and management company, has come to transload bulk materials to and from rail to accommodate oil and gas operations in eastern Ohio.

Infrastructure improvements to the park include pavement of all the park’s major roads and a 12,000-foot-long rail loop that allows for fast, efficient loading.  The loop allows the park to accommodate unit trains, which hold around 100 cars. Another loop track is being planned, and will allow the park to handle between two and three unit trains per day.

With more companies coming into the park, more investment might go to storage silos, flat storage, and eventually crude oil tanks to serve Ohio’s oil and gas industry.

The infrastructure improvements come mostly from a $2 million Job Ready Sites grant from the state and a 30 percent match from the park’s owners.  Now, with improvements, the park is about 60 percent leased.  With such vast improvements, it’s doubtful more companies won’t make the park their home.

– Original post from November 27, 2012 –

Last week, we reported on the incredible investments the Wellsville Intermodal Park has attracted from the oil and natural gas industry as interest in leasing space at the facility continues to grow.  As one might expect, Wellsville isn’t the only industrial park filling up in Ohio thanks to the development of the Utica Shale.

The Youngstown Business Journal reports on the increasing interest in Mahoning Valley’s industrial parks, including the Castlo Industrial Park in Struthers.  Executive Director of Castlo Community Improvement Corp., Michael Hoza, explains that by mid-spring all of its leasable space could be occupied.  There is only about 14,000 square feet in one building is all that is available.  However, using a $3.5 million Ohio Job Ready Sites grant, they are preparing 60 acres for future development. The new site of has attracted most of its inquiries from companies related to the oil and gas industry.

The Ohio Commerce Center in Lordstown is also seeing more activity and interest thanks to expanding development in the Utica Shale.  The industrial park received a $2 million Job Ready sites grant for rail upgrades at the facility.  Some companies plan to come to the facility in the next year or two, while some are taking advantage of low prices by coming now.

As the interest and the investment in Ohio’s energy resources in the Utica Shale continues to increase, the state’s industrial properties are filling up.  The Mahoning Valley Economic Development Corp. in Liberty reports steady interest in industrial space.  Michael Conway, its executive director, told the Business Journal that the development agency gets one to two inquiries per month about properties.  The agency also operates Youngstown Commerce Park in North Jackson and Warren Commerce Park.  Conway states the parks are about four or five years away from full occupancy. Once that happens, they’ll develop land at a separate location.

Clearly, shale development is bringing industry back to the Mahoning Valley.  Most of the area’s industrial parks anticipate full occupancy in the future, and are receiving grants to develop more.  As oil and gas companies continue to develop its shale resources, the Mahoning Valley will continue to see companies in related industries make the area their home, and creating more revenue for the region, and more jobs in the Buckeye State.

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