20 Federal Place Gets New Tenant as City Mulls Sale

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -- A video production company whose client list includes Google and Pepsi along with several familiar local clients will relocate to 20 Federal Place Sept. 1.

Cinemanix Productions will lease the seventh-floor space previously occupied by Phar-Mor Productions, the video production arm of the defunct Phar-Mor Inc., and more recently Accent Media. The Board of Control approved a two-year lease for the 2,535-square-foot space at its meeting Thursday morning.

The company’s current space in Howland “was a little too small for us,” said James Ford, Cinemanix co-owner and producer. “We were growing and expanding and we needed to get into a real shooting location and have a nice facility for that, and 20 Federal Place suited us well,” he added.

The company also has offices in North Carolina, he said. 

Cinemanix does video production work including commercials, documentaries, music videos and corporate training videos. “It’s a wide variety,” Ford said.

In addition to Google and Pepsi, the 15-year-old company’s client roster includes NASCAR and Fox Sports as well as the Home Savings and Loan Co., Quaker Steak and Lube, Farmers National Bank and the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber, he noted.

“We’re able to bring the Hollywood blockbuster feel to their commercials and in this space we’ll be able to have more control and be able to produce these high-end commercials,” he said.

Cinemanix principals approached the city, which owns 20 Federal Place, after Accent Media left just over a year ago, said Sean McKinney, Youngstown building and grounds commissioner. Other entities also expressed interest in the space, including the U.S. Department of Defense “but we stayed after them over the last year or so and everything came together,” McKinney said. “They wanted to move to Youngstown and we’re glad to have them.”

The company has seven employees and Ford said he expects to add more as its client base grows.

Before moving into the space, Cinemanix will update its lighting, paint and carpeting, McKinney said. It will pay $5 per square foot during the first year of the lease and $5.50 per square foot for the second year, in addition to the common area maintenance charge.

The city will remain the landlord for Cinemanix and the building’s other tenants, at least for the time being.

No entity has submitted a proposal for the building, which Mayor John McNally wants to sell, by the July 6 deadline. The sole correspondence received was a request by VXI Global Solutions Inc., which leases in excess of 2½ floors of the building, for an additional 60 days “to properly complete our review and develop the best response, considering the financial operating position of the facility.”

McNally is waiting for a final appraisal of the building -- which he expects to be completed within the next two weeks -- before determining how the city will proceed. It’s likely the building will go out for bid again, he said. The city’s finance director, David Bozanich, “suggested a couple of changes,” he said.

“I’m still mulling those over,” McNally remarked. “I would expect within the next couple of weeks to have a decision on what to do.”  

Copyright 2014 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.
CLICK HERE to subscribe to our free daily email headlines and to our twice-monthly print edition.