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  #41  
Old Posted Jan 2, 2018, 4:43 PM
Dblcut3 Dblcut3 is offline
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Crandall Park Pavillion Re-Opens After Renovations:
Source: YNDC

The Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation (YNDC) completed their renovation of the historic Crandall Park Pavillion a few days ago. Crandall Park is a park in the North Heights neighborhood. Though this once wealthy neighborhood is beginning to improve again, Crandall Park remains in bad shape. The park goes along the southern edge of the neighborhood following Crandall Creek. It's really cool to see some interest being put into this park - it has huge potential and could help bring back North Heights, which is a very beautiful neighborhood despite its problems.

The pavillion pre-renovations:


The pavillion after it reopened:


YNDC Home Renovation Projects in North Heights:
Source: YNDC

Since we are discussing North Heights, let's look at another property that the YNDC have worked on in the neighborhood. North Heights is one of their targeted neighborhoods due to its unique homes, tree lined streets, and relative stability. The neighborhood continues to have a lot of problems, but I am optimistic that it will attract suburbanites back into the city.

230 Upland Avenue - Sold for $66,000:




In other news, the owner of Downtown Circle will be deported on Sunday - hopefully the business gets passed to someone else. He invested a lot of money to turn it from a convenience store into a mini-grocery store which greatly benefited Downtown. Also, Boardman Township is going to be making a comprehensive plan for future development there. I'm honestly not too excited though as its probably the most hopeless suburb in terms of ever getting anything remotely urban-like.

A new mural in Downtown on the Harshman Building:
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  #42  
Old Posted Jan 6, 2018, 7:08 PM
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N. Phelps Street Streetscape Improvement Project Begins:
Source: Vindy

The section of Phelps Street between Federal and Commerce has been discussed as a possible located for a pedestrian-only plaza. Beginning Monday, this stretch of road will be closed for at least 6 months for a $943,000 project to allow AT&T to reroute phone lines and to allow for sewer line work.

A rendering of the proposed improvement project. Notice the hanging lights and archways:


The current plan calls for adding new sidewalks, streetlights, and other street-scape improvements - but it is possible that work will be done to finally make it into a pedestrian plaza. City leaders have been playing around with the idea for a while now - the idea is to make a mini version of Cleveland's East 4th Street pedestrian street. Some are hesitant to shut down traffic to the street - West Federal Street was once an unsuccessful pedestrian plaza that only began to succeed after it was reopened to traffic in the early 2000s. I think this portion of Phelps Street is perfect for a pedestrian only street. It is a fairly small segment of road, it is narrow, has nice underutilized storefronts, and most of all, will be the main road linking the YSU campus to the new riverfront park being built. The pedestrian only space would be used for events, markets, and of course, seating for restaurants.

A rendering of what N. Phelps Street will look like from the ground (Looking towards Commerce St.):


It will be a shame in my opinion if they do not go with the pedestrian-only option, but even if they don't I'm optimistic that the improvement project will help business and give more character to Phelps Street. The popular Suzie's Dogs and Drafts and V2 Wine Bar are already very successful, and another restaurant, The Cove, will be opening soon on this part of Phelps St.


EDIT: I happened to stumble upon a huge detailed master plan for the amphitheater project - expect a big post about it tonight or tomorrow with lots of renderings/details!

Last edited by Dblcut3; Jan 6, 2018 at 7:18 PM.
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  #43  
Old Posted Jan 7, 2018, 9:56 PM
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Amphitheater / Riverfront Park Master Plan Released:
Source: MKSK

I happened to stumble upon the very detailed master plan for the new Riverfront Park the other day. If you want to read the whole thing, click here - but I will summarize it in this post.

A main focus of the plan is to find ways to integrate the new park with the YSU campus and Mill Creek Park. The main proposal that MKSK gives is to improve Phelps and Hazel Streets in Downtown - they are the two main roads that will be used by YSU students to get to the park. Their plan for Phelps Street has been initiated this week (see post above) but it is unknown if they will make it pedestrian only or not.

A diagram showing Phelps & Hazel Streets and possible infill opportunities on each:


They then go on to give ideas for future development related to the park. They highlight the possibility of developing apartments along Front Street where surface lots are currently:


The next photo shows a very detailed master plan. If this is indeed the plan they are going with, I am quite happy with it. Some things on the plan are named incorrectly for some reason, but I'll ignore that. What I like most is that the surface lot buffer between Downtown and the park will be gone. In fact the only surface lots remaining will be around the Covelli Center and a few near the Market Street Bridge. I wish they would just build a parking garage, but oh well. Interestingly, this plan calls for tearing down multiple one story buildings along Front Street near the Covelli Center - I'm all for this as they are almost all eyesores. They will replace them with a restaurant space and a small plaza/parklet on the corner of Market and Front. It appears they want to get rid of the west parking lots at the Covelli Center, but expand them on the east side. They will replace those lots with a dog park, bocce courts, and basketball courts.

The master plan:


The amphitheater itself will be the first phase. It will have 3250 seats, 1000 of which will be VIP. Future plans could add two buildings on either side of the amphitheater with an extended canopy (renderings of this are in the plan.)



The promenade, as seen in the master plan, will connect the Covelli Center to the amphitheater and the rest of the park. It will have space for food truck vendors and will be wide enough for emergency vehicle access. The parking lots will be reduced to 719 spaces, including planned on street parking that comes with a potential Front Street streetscaping project. Speaking of streetscaping, they have renderings for both Phelps and Hazel Streets. I already covered Phelps St. renderings yesterday, so here's the Hazel Street proposal. Interestingly, they call for the Gallagher Building's empty parking lot to be used as a movie viewing plaza - this is a neat proposal, and I will share a rendering of that made by a Kent State University student in another post.



Unfortunately, it looks like the first phase, which costs an estimated $6.6 million, will not include the "urban plaza" which will add more park amenities along Front Street. That phase will end up costing around $1.2 million. Phase B will include the other park amenities and it is unknown when development for that will occur.





Sadly there is no mention of what they will do with the space under the Market Street Bridge. There have been some cool proposals to turn it into an informal music venue or art space.
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  #44  
Old Posted Jan 7, 2018, 10:01 PM
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Yeah, Youngstown is on fire.
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  #45  
Old Posted Jan 8, 2018, 9:55 PM
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^ Well, I sure hope it is, cause I've been a bit traumatized by some report I saw a few years back.

They were playing some sorry Bruce Springsteen song to it (not exactly my type of music, not funky enough) and I was shocked by the situation of an older unemployed man in his 50s and his wife who put all their hope in the town by purchasing their so-called American dream house over there. They appeared in real difficulty, and those bastards of the French media almost got me crying...

But what's in this thread is kinda comforting. I'll admit.
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  #46  
Old Posted Jan 13, 2018, 12:28 AM
Dblcut3 Dblcut3 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mousquet View Post
^ Well, I sure hope it is, cause I've been a bit traumatized by some report I saw a few years back.

They were playing some sorry Bruce Springsteen song to it (not exactly my type of music, not funky enough) and I was shocked by the situation of an older unemployed man in his 50s and his wife who put all their hope in the town by purchasing their so-called American dream house over there. They appeared in real difficulty, and those bastards of the French media almost got me crying...

But what's in this thread is kinda comforting. I'll admit.
Youngstown is by no means stable. The suburbs around it are in good shape generally, but they aren't too exciting to be honest. We are slightly improving. Downtown is getting nicer, YSU is expanding and connecting its campus more to Downtown. Some neighborhoods like North Heights are stabilizing and provide good opportunities due to the big unique houses there. And yes, Bruce Springsteen did write a song about life in Youngstown and with a line equating it to hell.

Last edited by Dblcut3; Jan 13, 2018 at 1:44 AM.
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  #47  
Old Posted Jan 13, 2018, 1:39 AM
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Michael Kusalaba Branch Library Opening in Early February:
Source: Business Journal Daily

The Michael Kusalaba Branch Library will be opening soon in the Rocky Ridge neighborhood on the West Side. It will be replacing the West Side Branch Library. It will have a maker space with technology such as 3D printers available to use. This branch will also be home to the garage for the city's mobile library program.

The exterior of the library:


Part of the interior of the library:


A classroom/conference space:



Downtown's Newest Bar- Whistle & Keg Self-Serve Taproom:

Whistle & Keg opened in October at 101 West Federal Street in Downtown, the site of the former Friends Specialty Coffee Roasters. It is one of many new bars and restaurants that opened in Downtown recently. It is a self-serve brew pub. When you enter, you receive an electronic wristband, and you scan your wristband when using the taps. A notable feature of the restaurant is the old steel mill whistle they installed outside of the bar - it blows every day at 5:00PM.

The exterior of Whistle & Keg:




Side note: In the photo above, you can see that the Silver's Vogue Shop Building is for sale. I hope someone buys it and fixes up the upper floor - it's been boarded up for years which is a shame considering it is in a very prominent location. Silver's can stay, but I'd be very happy to see some apartments on the upper floor, facade improvements, and a new store on the Phelps St. side of the building.

The interior of Whistle & Keg:



The self-serve taps:
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  #48  
Old Posted Jan 18, 2018, 9:19 PM
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Delegation Lobbies in DC to Push for $10.3M Transportation Grant:
Source: Business Journal Daily

A group of local leaders recently visited DC to lobby for a $10 million TIGER grant. They hope to use this money for rebuilding several Downtown roads to make them into "complete streets." This includes Fifth Avenue, Front Street, and Commerce Street. Front and Commerce are currently 4 lane roads, and Fifth is a six lane road. University officials hope that turning Fifth Avenue into a 2 lane road with bike lanes will help spur development in the area and help students get to the new bookstore and University Edge Apartments easier. If they get the grant, local groups plan to match it with another $10 million.

A rendering of the improvements to Fifth Avenue:


Fifth Avenue as it is today:


With Downtown booming, and now having a population of 2,000, it is important to keep the roads up to date and make sure they are pedestrian friendly. The project will also hopefully add bikelanes on Fifth Avenue, Front Street, and Commerce Street. This will provide a bike link between Downtown, YSU, and Mill Creek Park.

The proposed plan for Commerce Street:
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  #49  
Old Posted Jan 18, 2018, 9:34 PM
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I was just in Youngstown last weekend and there's loads of development going on around downtown, really great to see.
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  #50  
Old Posted Jan 18, 2018, 11:26 PM
Dblcut3 Dblcut3 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by photoLith View Post
I was just in Youngstown last weekend and there's loads of development going on around downtown, really great to see.
It is exciting. The hotel will be opening soon, and that will help Downtown out a lot. Btw, I really like the photos you post in the Pittsburgh thread! If you ever need a place to take photos, Youngstown has some neat places you could take them at!
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  #51  
Old Posted Jan 19, 2018, 6:13 AM
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^ Agreed. Would love to see Youngstown get the photoLith treatment. Also, great summary of the Riverfront Park Masterplan - thanks for taking the time to do that
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  #52  
Old Posted Feb 15, 2018, 10:49 PM
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New Michael Kusalaba Branch Library Opens in the West Side:
The Michael Kusalaba Branch finally opened yesterday. It is located on Mahoning Avenue between Glenellen and Schenley Avenues in the Rocky Ridge neighborhood. The library replaced the old West Side Library which was located in the same location. The library features several modern amenities that will benefit the West Side's residents. In addition to books and computers, there is a sound studio, maker space complete with 3D printers, classrooms, a conference room, a children's area, and more. It also houses the garage for the city's mobile library program.

The exterior of the library from the back side:


This is a pretty important development for the West Side - the West Side is already considered to be the city's nicest "side" but it still needs a ton of work. This will hopefully spur some development in a neighborhood other than Downtown. The Rocky Ridge neighborhood, which the library is located in, has a great neighborhood association that is both marketing and beautifying the neighborhood. Mahoning Avenue in particular has been seeing some storefront improvements and landscaping. The block the library is located on even has a small business district - this could be a great walkable neighborhood in the future.

The interior of the library:


Click here for street view of the library.

Also, if you want to get more updates on the Youngstown area, checkout the /r/Youngstown Sub-Reddit - we are trying to make it more active, so please check it out if you wish!
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  #53  
Old Posted Feb 16, 2018, 8:36 PM
Dblcut3 Dblcut3 is offline
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Noble Creature Cask House:
Source: Noble Creature Cask House

A local couple, Ira & Marcy Gerhart purchased an abandoned church at 126 E. Rayen Ave. in Smoky Hollow. They spent around $150,000 on renovations. The brewery makes and bottles their craft beer in the basement of the church. The main floor is being used at the main taproom. Though the brewery has no food options at the moment, they plan to add lunch and other small food options very soon. I think this is a great project - it is in a very blighted section of the city, but is located within walking distance to YSU and Downtown.

The exterior of Noble Creature Cask House:


The interior of the Noble Creature Cask House:
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  #54  
Old Posted Feb 16, 2018, 9:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deja vu View Post
^ Agreed. Would love to see Youngstown get the photoLith treatment. Also, great summary of the Riverfront Park Masterplan - thanks for taking the time to do that
I've taken many photos of Youngstown, especially Mill Creek Park, in fact I was just there again a few weeks ago.
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  #55  
Old Posted Feb 17, 2018, 1:07 AM
Dblcut3 Dblcut3 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by photoLith View Post
I've taken many photos of Youngstown, especially Mill Creek Park, in fact I was just there again a few weeks ago.
Do you have them posted anywhere? I'd love to see some!
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  #56  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2018, 10:47 PM
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Dblcut, nice updates. The new Enclave at the corner of Wick and Rayen, seems like everything has been built up to the sidewalk, and there's nice added density on Phelps now. But do you know if anything will be going in on the corner of Wick and Lincoln?
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  #57  
Old Posted Feb 20, 2018, 3:22 AM
Dblcut3 Dblcut3 is offline
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Originally Posted by Gallivant21 View Post
Dblcut, nice updates. The new Enclave at the corner of Wick and Rayen, seems like everything has been built up to the sidewalk, and there's nice added density on Phelps now. But do you know if anything will be going in on the corner of Wick and Lincoln?
Yes, there will be a small building on the corner of Wick and Lincoln as well as another one only facing Lincoln. Unfortunately, the developers are making these buildings only one story which is a huge disappointment to me. I do like the style of the corner building, but the other small one.... I really hope that isn't the final design. Plus the parking lot entrance on Lincoln sort of ruins what could have been an uninterrupted group of retail buildings. But at least we are getting some densification to that corner.

Here is a rendering of the master plan that is being used(as far as I know):


Hope this answered your question! I will be making a post with more information about the Enclave project soon.
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  #58  
Old Posted Feb 23, 2018, 12:38 AM
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Steelite Showroom Coming to Commerce Building:
Source: Business Journal Daily

Steelite International, one of the world's leading tableware manufacturers, will be opening a showroom in the fifth floor of Downtown's Commerce Building. It will occupy a 15,000 square foot part of the building that once housed The Fifth Floor Restaurant. The showroom will be one of their largest. It will feature a fully functioning bar in order for potential buyers to try out their products. Steelite sells over 40 different brands and is a popular supplier for restaurants, hotels, and more.

The Commerce Building (Built in 1917):



The New Castle company chose this building because of its historic character and location. They wanted to be in Downtown Youngstown due to the large amount of activity and redevelopment occurring there. They hope that their clients will take advantage of Downtown's new DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel and eat at the variety of restaurants in the surrounding area. This will be their flagship showroom. (They have showrooms in other cities such as Atlanta, New York, and Los Angeles.)

Here is an example of what Steelite's showrooms typically look like:


I think this will be great for Downtown. It will add a unique type of business that Downtown currently doesn't have, and this block of Downtown needs investments like this. Plus, their clients include some chain restaurants, hotels, ect - who knows, maybe some will be impressed and want to set up in Downtown! And speaking of chain restaurants, Donatos Pizza is looking to expand into the Youngstown-Warren area and open four locations. Downtown is one of the main areas they are looking at. One thing Downtown really needs is some fast-casual type restaurants like Donatos, Chipotle, Simple Greek, ect. I hope this deal works out.

Last edited by Dblcut3; Feb 23, 2018 at 1:08 AM.
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  #59  
Old Posted Mar 16, 2018, 9:12 PM
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TIGER Grant for Downtown Road Improvements Denied:
Pretty bad news came this week for Youngstown. The city had been working on a proposal called "SMAR2T" which would improve the infrastructure in the central area of the city. It called for rebuilding several roads from 4 lanes into 2 lanes with bike lanes and landscaping. It also called for things such as a bike share program. The denial of the proposal leaves Downtown in an uncertain position. North Phelps Street likely will no longer receive the major face-lift proposed for it. The bike lane between Mill Creek Park and Downtown may also not be completed anymore. The good news is that the city still has $3 million for the Fifth Avenue rebuilding plan - they will reduce the 4-6 lane road to 2 lanes with landscaping and bike lanes. This will help link Downtown, YSU, and hopefully Mill Creek Park. The project is set to begin in 2020.

A rendering of the proposed Fifth Avenue improvements:


Wayfinding Signs Coming to Downtown This Spring:

The city recently signed a $40,000 contract with Ellet Neon Signs of Akron to supply a network of wayfinding signs to the city. They will primarily be located in Downtown but will also be located in other places such as: Mill Creek Park, Wick Park, and I-680 exits. I'm glad they are finally getting around to this - it's been over three years in the making.

Major signs will have a "City of You" theme to them. But here's an example of a typical wayfinding sign:


Town Center at Firestone Farms:
Website: Firestone Farms

Firestone Farms is a large suburban development centered around a golf course in Columbiana, which originally was the farm of Harvey Firestone, founder of Firestone Tires. Columbiana is a small town located 25 minutes south of Youngstown. It is seeing a lot of growth, especially in its Downtown. But, the Town Center at Firestone Farms is a "lifestyle center" that is so far only in phase one. Though it has struggled to attract large retail chains, it has successfully filled all of its storefronts and is doing fairly well considering it is located in a very rural area.

A rendering of the development:


Some notable businesses here include Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt, Stone Fruit Coffee Company, and Homestead Kitchen. It is also home to several boutique stores and a high end eyewear retailer called "Wink." The property is home to many offices, most notably, Salem Regional Medical Center.

Stone Fruit Coffee Company - A popular local coffee shop chain:


Phase 2 will be coming soon, which will add a second large building. This will be interesting to see - the first floor will remain retail, but all 2nd floor space will be devoted to luxury apartments, which is something the area lacks at the moment. Across the street (OH-14), there are future plans for the "Marketplace at Firestone Farms" which will add a hotel, grocer, and a Harvey Firestone Museum in a historic barn.

Homestead Kitchen & Cocktail Bar - a farm to table restaurant opening soon in Firestone Farms:


The Town Center at Firestone Farms Phase One:


Main Street Columbiana News:

Luckily, the Firestone Farms development isn't taking business away from Columbiana's historic and walkable Main Street, which is thriving with arts, crafts, breweries, cafes, ect. It is becoming the "hipster" center of the Youngstown area. There was a mini-panic recently when Generations Coffee House, a well known anchor of Main Street announced it was closing - but thankfully, a local family purchased it and is keeping it open and adding lunch and breakfast options.

A photo I took of Main Street during the summer:


A local couple recently purchased a vacant lot on Main Street and plan to turn it into an outdoor eatery for their food truck "No Swine Left Behind." They plan to landscape and fence in the property as well as adding in public outdoor seating.
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  #60  
Old Posted Mar 28, 2018, 7:18 PM
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Random Downtown Youngstown Proposals:

Today I will cover a few interesting proposals for Downtown - keep in mind, none of these are actually being actively developed. They are just proposals.

State Theater Redevelopment Proposal:
State Theater was a historic theater located on Federal Street in Downtown. When it was demolished, the city agreed to keep it's front facade preserved. Strollo Architects (who redeveloped the adjacent Wells Building) are looking for potential uses for the State Theater and vacant land next to it. Their goal is to find a tenant to build here so it does not become surface parking. The 4M Company, a Youngstown architectural firm has made a proposal for the site. Unfortunately there are no plans to implement it.

The State Theater:


The 4M Company's Proposed Redevelopment:


Re-Vision Youngstown Proposals:

Re-Vision Youngstown was a project that asked Kent State University students to show of their visions for Downtown Youngstown. None of these proposals are planned to be utilized, but here are some of the interesting ones. I kept some well made proposals out because they are simply too unrealistic.

Phelps & Boardman proposal:

Current Street View Image

South Phelps Street Rebuild:
This proposal was to rebuild South Phelps Street as a pedestrian-only street. North Phelps is currently being turned into a pedestrian only plaza.

Current Street View Image

Silver's Vogue Shop Building Redevelopment:
This building, which has housed Silver's Vogue Shop for decades, is for sale. It is on a very prominent corner in Downtown, and hopefully it gets redeveloped. Here is a proposal for it:

Current Street View Image

Gallagher Building Proposals:
The Gallagher Building is a historic building on the corner of Hazel & Commerce that is in bad shape at the moment. The previous developer failed to develop it, and the "new" developer is in a lot of legal trouble. Unfortunately the future of the building is very uncertain. But, here are some proposals for it.

Music Pavillion Proposal:


"Collaboration Center" Proposal:


"Business Collaboration Center" Proposal:
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