The Business Journal and the ProPublica Local Reporting Network have partnered to produce this investigative series evaluating decades of economic development incentives.

Chill-Can Developer Granted Extension to Answer City’s Allegations

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The developer of the ill-fated Chill-Can project on the East Side has been granted another 14 days to respond to a complaint filed by the city last month. “They asked for a little more time to file…

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City Files Counter Suit Against Chill-Can Developer

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The city Thursday afternoon filed a counter complaint in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court against the developer of the stalled Chill-Can project, seeking at least $2.2 million in damages it says it’s suffered as a result of…

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City Taking Chill-Can Developer to Court

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Attorneys representing the city are preparing litigation that will be filed by the first week of June against M.J. Joseph Development Co. over the ill-fated Chill-Can project on the East Side. Law director Jeff Limbian said a…

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Council Committee Recommends Pulling Allied Erecting Abatement

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – City Council’s Finance Committee on Monday recommended terminating an enterprise zone agreement for a company that had a history of not living up to its end of the deal. The company, Allied Consolidated Industries Inc., is now…

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Chill-Can Developer Vows to Complete Project

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The developer of the delayed Chill-Can complex on the East Side says more time is needed to finish the project, despite pressure from the city that it either fast-track completion within 60 days or face legal consequences.…

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Chill-Can Developer Still Owes YSU Nearly $200,000

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The developer behind the beleaguered Chill-Can plant on the city’s East Side is still in arrears to Youngstown State University’s athletics department for nearly $200,000 – months after he promised to remedy the debt. In August, The…

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City Never Turned Over Some Land Where Chill-Can Sits

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Land that the city acquired for the stalled Chill-Can project more than three years ago was never transferred to the complex’s developer like it was supposed to, underscoring the lack of confidence officials harbored for the entire…

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City Says Chill-Can in Default of Tax Break, $1.5M Grant Agreements

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The city has placed the developer of the Chill-Can project on notice that it might have to repay $1.5 million in grant funding, lose its tax incentives, and face potential litigation for defaulting on lucrative development agreements…

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Chill-Can Discusses Downsizing, City Tells Incentive Review Council

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The scope of Joseph Co. International’s proposed Chill-Can campus is being scaled back from the $20 million campus the company announced four years ago – and the city is studying whether to “unwind” its enterprise zone agreement…

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Tax Incentive Review Council Suggests Chill-Can Town Hall

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The city’s tax incentive review council is proposing a virtual public forum related to The Joseph Co. International’s Chill-Can project on the East Side. “I received a lot of phone calls regarding the West Coast Chill-Can plant,”…

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Exclusive: Ohio Seeks $60M from GM for Closing Lordstown Plant

ProPublica is a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power. Sign up to receive our biggest stories as soon as they’re published. This article was produced in partnership with The Business Journal, based in Youngstown, Ohio, which is a member…

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Promises Broken

May 15, 2020: In part 5 of our investigative series with ProPublica, we see how the Chill-Can project and Youngstown’s Enterprise Zone program has had an effect on the community as a whole. The video is based on this story,…

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Knock, Knock: It’s the Chill-Can

May 14, 2020: In part 4 of our investigative series with ProPublica, we talk with residents who say they were forced from their homes to accommodate the Chill-Can project. The video is based on this story, which was produced in…

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The Chill-Can Cometh

May 13, 2020: In part 3 of our investigative series with ProPublica, we see how the Chill-Can project got started and how officials were gradually won over to its merit. The video is based on this story, which was produced…

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Investigative Series Results From ProPublica Partnership

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — In some ways, the partnership between The Business Journal and ProPublica (READ STORY) is a departure from our daily coverage of business news that is largely upbeat. Indeed, for decades this news organization has championed the efforts…

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Development, The Youngstown Way

May 12, 2020: In part 2 of our investigative series with ProPublica, we look at the history of Youngstown’s enterprise zone program and the impact it’s had on the city. The video is based on this story, which was produced…

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Chill-Can Not the Only Project to Go Cold

This article was produced in partnership with the ProPublica Local Reporting Network. Sign up for ProPublica’s Big Story newsletter to get stories like this one as soon as they are published. YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — When the American steel industry collapsed in the…

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Business Journal Editorial: Promises Made, Promises Kept?

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — A 50% success rate is nothing to cheer about.  According to the front-page story in the MidMay edition of The Business Journal, half of the 94 projects that received enterprise zone tax abatements from the city of…

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Millions in Tax Breaks. So Where Are the Jobs?

Investigative series begins with focus on enterprise zones. This article was produced in partnership with the ProPublica Local Reporting Network. Sign up for ProPublica’s Big Story newsletter to get stories like this one as soon as they are published. YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio —…

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Promises Made, Promises Kept? Part One.

May 11, 2020: In the first of five videos from our investigative series with ProPublica, The Business Journal’s Dan O’Brien looks at the effects of the city of Youngstown’s enterprise zone program, using the Chill-Can project as a case study.…

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The Business Journal in Youngstown, Ohio and ProPublica are investigating the effectiveness of economic development incentives deployed in the Mahoning Valley following the exodus of the steel industry. If you know something about how incentives were misused or how they were effectively used elsewhere, how and why, we would like to hear from you. We’d particularly like to hear from:

  • Past or present employees of companies who received development incentives. 
  • Government and economic development officials responding to our findings, providing additional information and insights on how incentives can be better deployed and monitored for compliance moving forward.
  • Business leaders with suggestions on the types of incentives that small businesses need.

If you have something to share with us, here’s how to do it: