WARREN, Ohio— What started as a hunt for the perfect place to run a recycling business has turned into a multi-million dollar idea.
“We spent about a year and a half trying to find a building that was suitable for the business we wanted to start,” said Wiley Runnestrand, co-owner of Sapientia Ventures.
Wiley Runnestrand operates several businesses in the Warren area. While starting his technology recycling business, Greenboard IT, he noticed a need in the area for modern industrial sites in the area.
“We knew if we had a hard time trying to get a chance, we knew others would struggle too,” Runnestrand said.
Together with his business partners, he plans to build an industrial park worth 100-120 million dollars on the west side of Warren.
“We’re developing our first parcel, which is about 10 acres. It’s a 100,000-square-foot industrial building,” Runnestrand said.
This project is attracting foreign talent at a time when there is negative population growth in the area. Blair Mulholland moved here from Michigan to be a project leader at the industrial site.
“I think there’s a lot of opportunity in this area. You look at all the things going down with Lordstown and Foxconn and Ultium Cells. A lot of companies are looking to move into the area,” said Blair Mulholland, project manager.
Five minutes across town from the Sapientia Ventures office sits 85 acres of open land that was previously developed.
“This was a small section of the West Lawn House, which was under the warehouse bridge housing in Ravenna,” Mulholland said, pointing to a clearing with trees and old pavement.
Later phases will include land from Western Reserve High School. The goal posts from the abandoned football field are still standing.
“We’re looking at light manufacturing, light manufacturing and the distribution space,” explained Mulholland.
The first phase is expected to be completed by 2025.