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Downtown Youngstown business gets $20K for interior improvements

Published: Fri, November 15, 2013 @ 12:02 a.m.

By David Skolnick



The city’s board of control approved a $20,000 grant to Warehouse 50 to help defray the costs of improvement work at the downtown restaurant and bar.

The business has made $112,561 in interior improvements and plans to add 22 new jobs over the next three years, said Tom DeAngelo, the city’s economic development coordinator.

Warehouse 50 is co-owned by Chris Sammarone, a son of Mayor Charles Sammarone, who sits on the board of control with Finance Director David Bozanich and Law Director Anthony Farris.

The mayor initially voted Thursday in favor of approving the city grant, but was quickly reminded by Farris that he needed to abstain. The motion was rescinded and Sammarone abstained from the second vote. Farris and Bozanich voted in favor of the proposal.

The board of control routinely gives money to downtown businesses through the city’s initiative program.

Warehouse 50 opened in June at the site of the former Dooney’s Downtown Grill & Bar, also co-owned by Sammarone’s son, that lasted for less than a year.

Before that, it was a Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant from May 1994 to June 2012.

The Youngstown Initiative Committee in July recommended the board of control give $20,000 to Warehouse 50 toward its project before it started — contingent on the business receiving bank financing, DeAngelo said.

Warehouse 50 in the Stambaugh Building on the city’s Central Square didn’t get bank financing so it had to wait for the interior work to be done before obtaining the $20,000 from the city, DeAngelo said.

The interior work is done as is most of its exterior improvements, he said.

The renovation included partial demolition, drywall repair, the installation of a concrete bar top, plumbing work, restroom remodeling and the purchase of equipment, according to its application for the city funding.

The initiative program provides forgivable loans from the city’s general-fund budget for projects looking to expand or locate in Youngstown. After three years, if the business is in compliance with what it promised the city it would do, the loan becomes a grant.


1glbtactivist(315 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

Why is the city giving anyone money to run a business in Youngstown? If they can't afford to run the business themselves, then the business should not be there. I do not want any of my tax money to go to so called businessmen who have just failed at running a business in the exact same spot. Only the mayor's son could carry out such a scam.

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2Silence_Dogood(1663 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

"The mayor initially voted Thursday in favor of approving the city grant, but was quickly reminded by Farris that he needed to abstain."

The golden boy had to be reminded that he was about to (and in fact) violate the law.What was his excuse. I forgot that he was my son. That law does not apply to me. It only counts if I am the only one voting. I didn't think anyone was paying attention. It only matters if the media finds out. As long as the State Attorney General does not finds out. I was planning on using old age dementia as an excuse.

The fact still remains that the two who did vote for this measure are at will workers that can be fired at a whim by the Mayor. So there still is a conflict of interest.

Responsibility and accountability are still lacking with that office.

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3bmanresident(607 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

Dooneys was an absolute dump and Chris Sammarone was clueless. Now his daddy gives him taxpayer money to fail AGAIN. This is corruption at its finest!

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