WARREN, Ohio — Renovation work on the Reeves Building on the peninsula here should begin within three months according to Darryl Myers, COO of Modern On Property Group.
“We’re here to stay. We’re not sellers. All the properties that we’ve bought, we generally don’t sell. We hold them,” said Myers.
Since April, Modern On has spent about $3 million on commercial and residential properties throughout Mahoning and Trumbull counties. The group purchased the 45,000-square-foot Reeves Building on the peninsula near downtown for $600,000 last week.
“We’re sure that we’re going to make high-end living,” Myers said.
Myers, who was in town to speak with the Western Reserve Port Authority about possible financing for the project, says the six-floor building will consist of apartments on the upper floors and commercial space on the ground floor.
A restaurant and laundromat are two ideas that have been floated for the 2,000-square-foot space. The existing apartments are split between one bedroom, studio and efficiencies.
“We’re thinking about cutting the studio apartments in half, because they’re so big, and creating micro-units. That’s quite a big concept in downtown areas,” Myers said.
Micro-units are typically 200 to 300 square feet. Each studio apartment in the Reeves building is 500 square feet. Annissa Neider of Youngstown-based MS Consultants is creating some of the models for what the building could look like.
“It’s a great old building. It honestly reminds me of the hotel before it was the hotel,” she said, referring to the Stambaugh Building in downtown Youngstown. “It’s got the great terrazzo flooring and oak woodwork, beautiful plaster details. It just needs a little love.”
Myers said he expects work to begin on the Reeves building within three months.
Modern On, based in California, is a partnership between Myers, Barry Taitz, the majority shareholder and also the founder of Blue Cellular, and David Hanus, whose background includes running a $300 million property fund.
“He brings a wealth of experience from a operational perspective to what we’re doing,” Myers affirmed.
Myers said the main goal is to invest in undervalued properties in the area to lift up the surrounding neighborhoods.
Modern On has purchased 20 single-family properties throughout Mahoning and Trumbull counties that will all be refurbished, said Missy Parker, a real estate agent with Evenbay Real Estate, who is managing the properties.
“We’re totally revamping them because they want them forever,” she said.
Myers said they plan to purchase another 600 homes within the next 16 months.
Another property, the Pauni Apartment Complex in Cortland, is under development. So far, Modern On has redone 22 of the 48 units.
“What interested us is that we saw there was value to be unlocked here,” he explained.
Myers and his partners began looking at the area after a business associate, who purchased a home here, told them about the opportunities.
“We kind of fell in love with what the area has to offer,” said Myers.
And he said others have also.
“People are interested in co-investing with us.”