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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
Dblcut3 Dblcut3 is offline
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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
Dblcut3 Dblcut3 is offline
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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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