A downtown property development agency is ready to open a new parking lot where the Paramount Theatre once stood, but work won’t be done for at least another month.
As part of a deal with the city, the Youngstown Central Area Community Improvement Corp. was to start a 20-year lease for $100 a year on or before June 1 for the converted parking lot on the corner of West Federal and Hazel streets.
But the lot doesn’t have power because of an electric problem that FirstEnergy is resolving, and a landscaping project for the West Federal side hasn’t started.
“We’re uncertain when it will get done, but we hope it will be by July 1,” said Dave Kosec, CIC’s project manager.
That won’t happen.
Proposals for the landscaping project are to be submitted to the city by July 3, said Charles Shasho, deputy director of public works.
That project has a budget of about $25,000, and will include seating with tables, a fence, and likely some portions of the former theater that were removed before demolition started in July 2013, he said. If materials from the building can’t be included in the design, the city would place a plaque there honoring the theater, he said.
“That landscaped area will be a big focal point for downtown,” Shasho said.
The CIC discussed the Kress demolition at its Wednesday meeting. Since around 2006, the agency meets about three to four times a year. But the meetings have flown under the radar for a number of years as the CIC hasn’t contacted the media in about six years about its meetings.
It didn’t send a media advisory for Wednesday’s meeting either, but The Vindicator learned about it and a reporter attended.
Read more about the agency's meetings and the projects it controls in Thursday's Vindicator or on Vindy.com.