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Let’s restore McGuffey Plaza or give it a proper funeral service

Published: Mon, April 1, 2013 @ 12:00 a.m.

Let’s restore McGuffey Plaza or give it a proper funeral service

Contrasts are very apparent in our Mahoning Valley. We see and experience them every day. It could be the difference between a convenience store and a grocery store or an active thriving business and an empty boarded storefront. You might see a lived-in well maintained home or a vacant house. Other contrasts include beautiful landscaped lots or empty littered lots. These contrasts are due to differences in socioeconomic levels, education or can be as simple as where you live.

I live on the East Side of Youngstown and am subject to a blatant example of blight each day. A contrast of what was and what is now. The McGuffey Plaza lies on the corner of Garland Avenue and McGuffey Road. Twenty-two acres of land that previously stood out as a new concept in retail. The McGuffey Plaza was the first mall project for the Cafaro Co. The Cafaros have gone on to build many malls and plazas, including the Eastwood Mall in Niles. The Cafaro Co. is now building a new hotel complex at the Eastwood Mall, and family members are well known for their philanthropic endeavors.

But all is not well at the McGuffey Plaza. It is now roped off and boarded up. It is vacant except for one retail store left in the plaza and two convenience stores bordering it. It is no longer an object of acclaim and beauty. It is now an ugly eyesore, retired to obscurity and death. Local residents drive and walk by apparently blind.

If we open our eyes, anyone would agree McGuffey Plaza, as it is now, has no place in Youngstown. No one would want this blighted structure in their neighborhood, on their side of town, in their community. We can no longer ignore nor accept the situation.

I place a spotlight on this site. I challenge each resident of the Valley to take a drive and take a good look. Why does it remain? What purpose is it serving?

Why can’t the Cafaro Co. do the dignified thing and give McGuffey Plaza a well deserved funeral? I call for renovation or demolition. Let us come together as a community and demand a solution. The time is now!

Cheryl L. Moss, Youngstown


1nipsy(157 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

No offense meant but don't expect a bunch of Valley resident's to rush down to that GHETTO and take a look ..

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2jeepers(127 comments)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

In 1975 I had to take an elective course at YSU. I signed up for bowling as a phys.ed. elective. The class was held at McGuffey Lanes. Even that many years ago, my car was broken into while i was bowling for 1 hour-in the middle of the day-1 pm. I completed the class but never went back. Bear in mind the economy was actually good COMPARED to present day. I never went back to that location-friends would get together to bowl once a month. We spent our money and time at other bowling alleys that felt safer to us. Once the population thins out as it has in most of the town it seems economically unsustainable to maintaiin all the neighborhoods in the fashion we would like. No People-No Money. Some sort of consolidation might work for a few areas in the city limits. I am too old to worry much about that area. The local, neighborhood residents have some responsibility in keeping the area viable.

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3rickking123(320 comments)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

Kind of funny but the same thing is happening with the Struthers plaza. Guess who owns that plaza too?

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