The Ward Bakery building, which has housed art from numerous Valley artists for decades has been purchased by a new owner who is now asking all tenants to leave. The building is located on Mahoning Avenue on Youngstown's west side.

It's a century-old building filled with some of the best Valley artists, makers, and sculptors. Tenants recently were told they must move out of the space no later than June 10.

"It's been a stunning shock," said Jason Van Hoose, Artist and Ward Bakery tenant. "This came out of nowhere. It came right out of the blue and none of us were fully prepared. We have to find spaces which is difficult in this market right now."

The building's owners were faced with a costly upgrade to the building's sprinkler system, a cost they couldn't afford. Van Hoose believes the price tag hovered around $250,000.

Artist and Ward Bakery tenant Robyn Maas told 21 News tenants were given until June 10 to vacate the building and relocate. We're told artists have a lot of things to move and not a lot of time to move them.

Van Hoose has been a tenant since 1990. He's concerned he might not find another space to grow his business around town.

"Since I got the news, even before I got the news, I've been looking [for a new space]," Van Hoose added. "It's been a struggle. Prices are very high, suddenly."

Anything left in the space after June 10, Van Hoose believes will become the property of the new owners.

Maas told 21 News in the coming days tenants will be meeting to discuss what to do and where to go from here. This meeting is still in the process of being scheduled and no date has been given for it yet.

"We're trying to figure out who the new buyer is and what kind of options we have," Van Hoose concluded. "It's a very complicated situation and it's not going to be solved by one meeting."

Maas nor Van Hoose know who the new owner of the building is.

21 News tried reaching out to the former owner, James Deeley, and have yet to hear back.

The future of the building is not known at this time.