City efforts draw businessman back from Hawaii

YOUNGSTOWN — Ron DeAtley said he was so impressed with recent revitalization efforts in the city that he decided to move back to the area last fall from his home in Honolulu.

Shortly after returning, he bought the Printz mansion at 1819 Fifth Ave. and converted it to a guest house intended to resemble a bed and breakfast facility.

DeAtley was one of several business owners, managers or partners who spoke at tonight's Youngstown Arts & Entertainment District Association meeting about plans they have for fitting into the fabric of the city.

The 8,000-square-foot, five-bedroom Printz mansion, which was built in 1915, can accommodate up to 10 overnight guests, and an emphasis is on forming partnerships with area businesses, DeAtley explained.

"The city needs a place for people to stay," he said. "We need to unite ourselves in a common goal of revitalization."

Also speaking was William Addington III, executive director of Lien Forward Ohio, which opened last August   in the former Phar-Mor Center at 20 W. Federal St. The business's main objectives are neighborhood revitalization and economic development and it allows individuals, nonprofit agencies, churches and other entities to buy liens on properties with delinquent taxes, he explained.

If the property owner fails to redeem or pay off the lien within one year, the lien-holder can file a foreclosure and ask a judge to transfer ownership to the holder, Addington said, adding that the city has about 12,000 vacant parcels.

Since December, the city has been part of, an online entity set up to network consumers and various businesses, explained Tim Sokoloff, the business’ chief technical officer.

Businesses online include attorneys, floral shops, limousine services and motels that people would likely want to access when not at home, he said. Among its services is the ability to provide listings of such businesses, he added.

Also speaking at the session were Aleen Clair, manager of Pizza Joe's at 20 W. Federal and Kenney(ok) Kelly, an owner of Bullpen Pizza on Rayen Avenue.

Dennis Roller announced that he was resigning as YAEDA's president effective this month, partly to devote more time to Yourcitymobile, of which he's a partner.

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