DOWNTOWN YOUNGSTOWN Exterior parts of First National fall; mayor wants annual inspections

By David Skolnick


Exterior portions of yet another downtown building fell to the ground, leading the city to require the owner of the First National Tower to block off part of the entrance to the structure.

Mayor Charles Sammarone said he met Tuesday with Lou Frangos, owner of the building at 1 Central Federal St., about Frangos hiring an engineer to determine what happened.

A report is expected by the end of the week, Sammarone said.

Part of the upper portion of the building fell Saturday, prompting someone to call the fire department, Sammarone said.

This is the third downtown building in the past few months to have exterior portions fall to the ground.

The city shut down A-1 Parking deck at 23 W. Boardman St. in March after pieces fell off the building. It reopened in August. Also, bricks fell from the Wick Building at 34 W. Federal St. in August, and has since been repaired.

Also, windows fell out of the Stambaugh Building at 44 E. Federal St. in 2008 and two large granite panels fell off the former PNC Bank Building, on the corner of Wick Avenue and Commerce Street, in 2005.

“They’re old, and who knows if they’ve been maintained,” Sammarone said of the downtown structures.

The mayor said he wants to talk to city Law Director Anthony Farris to see if legislation can be created requiring downtown-building owners to have annual inspections.

The First National Bank Tower is owned by Frangos, who couldn’t be reached late Tuesday by The Vindicator to comment.

Frangos told the newspaper in July he planned to sell the First National Bank Tower along with two other downtown buildings to his former business partner, Wick Ohio One, owned by Pan Brothers Associates of New York City, by the end of September. Pan Brothers was going to be 50-50 partners in the three buildings with Dominic Marchionda, who has purchased a number of downtown buildings recently.

As of Tuesday, the sale wasn’t finalized.

Marchionda also couldn’t be reached by the newspaper to comment.

Sammarone said Frangos told him he was in the process of selling at least the bank tower.

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