SHARON, Pa. – American Rescue Plan Act funds will support the conversion of the former Carine & Co. warehouse into a mixed-use development and the redevelopment of the building where the former Brewtus Brewing Co. operated.
The five grants totaling $1.3 million announced Monday represent the first round of ARPA-funded grants the city will announce in the coming months, said Sherris Moreira, director for the development of the inner city. Sharon has reserved approximately $5 million of its $14.7 million ARPA allocation for revitalization and capital grants.
“All of the funds support larger projects,” Bob Fiscus, city manager, said in the release. “We are really focused on sustainable economic development and building our local economy with the ARPA funds.”
Just over a third of funds awarded Monday — $450,000 — will be used to help JCL Development and Hudson Companies convert Carine & Co.’s 47,000-square-foot warehouse into apartments and commercial space for Penn State University’s Shenango campus to support.
“Transforming this corridor from an industrial area into a high livable building that will include an indoor leisure facility and 12 apartments has been a long-standing goal of ours,” said James Landino, CEO of JCL Development. “JCL Development is extremely pleased to partner with the Hudson Companies to build market-priced homes near Penn State in downtown Sharon. It’s great to see that it’s fully funded and ready to build, and we thank the city leaders for believing in our vision of what downtown can look and feel like.”
Among the recipients was Nova Destinations, Pulaski. The company, whose brands include Nova Cellars Winery and Brew 32 Craft Brewery, received $150,000 to support a new business formation at 23 Chestnut Ave., a property also owned by JCL Development.
In the press release, Nova Destinations owner Walt Novosel said his company is in the final stages of planning the project and will be providing more details in the coming weeks.
“We are extremely pleased to be able to use these funds to provide multiple, unique and one of a kind destinations for Sharon,” said Novosel, whose grandfather founded Walt’s Inn in the early 1970’s and uncle owned Billy’s Black and Gold, said.
“I am pleased to continue my family’s presence in Sharon,” he continued. “We have been very impressed with the city and local businesses and are delighted to be a part of its continued growth.”
The Area Community Theater of Sharpsville – or ACTS – Theater Group received $225,000 for business expansion. Last year ACTS purchased the former Sacred Heart Church located at 40 S. Irvine Ave.
“We anticipate these funds will allow us to complete renovations at the former Sacred Heart Shrine to create a second performance space that will accommodate over 250 people,” said Tom Perman, ACTS CEO. adding that they are planning a grand opening in October.
The new performing arts center, which ACTS is expected to open with a grand opening in October, “will stimulate revitalization and economic development in the region,” he predicted.
In addition, the city granted funding to two other facilities for heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning upgrades. Diehl Automotive, operator of Diehl Hyundai at Sharon, 1300 E. State St. received $250,000 and the Buhl Club, 28 Pine St. received $225,000.
The HVAC upgrades are part of a project that will create “the most modern Hyundai plant in western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio to improve the experience for the dealership’s team and customers,” said Matt Diehl, vice president of Diehl Automotive.
“Being part of a community that is willing to invest in us will inspire us to invest even more in the city’s initiatives and the community as a whole,” he added. “Our hope is to inspire others to invest in the city of Sharon.”
Air conditioning will be updated to improve current air quality, said Buhl Club executive director Jason Kmick.
The first phase of the $7 million project is scheduled for completion by the end of 2022 and will include renovations throughout the first floor with an upgraded spa and fitness center, the addition of a youth and youth center, a new welcome center, and a family and mechanical locker room updates continuously. Phase two includes renovations and new bathrooms on the second floor to better support Penn State’s athletics.
“We believe that once our project is complete, we will do our part to bring people from the Shenango Valley to downtown Sharon,” said Kmick. “We look forward to supporting the ongoing effort to make downtown Sharon a destination.”
The scholarship recipients were selected from more than 40 applications, Moreira said. The city followed ARPA policy guidelines, including using funds to increase the tax base, promote staff development, and community impact.
The executive director of the Shenango Valley Chamber of Commerce welcomed the news of the grant funds. “The Shenango Valley Chamber is pleased with the continued economic growth and development in the city of Sharon,” said Libbi Brown.
Pictured: JCL Development and Hudson Companies received $450,000 in American Rescue Plan Act funding from the City of Sharon to help redevelop the former Carine & Co. building for housing and commercial space.
Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.