Youngstown board approves purchase of closed St. Vincent dining hall

By David Skolnick


The city’s board of control approved spending $79,000 to buy the closed St. Vincent DePaul Society dinning hall for a development project.

The city is in negotiations with two companies that will reimburse the money for the building purchase.

One company would turn the location at 208 W. Front St. into an entertainment venue, and the other would have the building remain in the city’s possession for beautification purposes.

City officials have declined to disclose the names of the two companies because negotiations are ongoing.

The city will take ownership of the building in 30 to 60 days, said Law Director Martin Hume, a board of control member. The board approved the purchase Thursday.

The $79,000 figure is the appraised value of the building, he said.

The building is near the downtown amphitheater project site.

The city is spending $8 million to $9 million to construct an amphitheater and park along the Mahoning River from the South Avenue Bridge to just west of Hazel Street at the former Wean United Building.

The former dining hall, which St. Vincent operated since the mid-1980s, served its last meals June 30. The building was then closed after the Mahoning County Building Inspection Department found it to be unsafe.

The cost to fix the issues at the old building was too expensive, according to society officials, and the dining hall was relocated in August to the fellowship hall of Sts. Cyril & Methodius Church, 252 E. Wood St.

Also, the board approved a $160,000 payment to ProQuality Demolition of Campbell, which did an emergency demolition in September of the former Colonial Letter Shoppe, 1100 South Ave.

Part of the brick exterior of the building, vacant for about 20 years, collapsed into the street, forcing the emergency work.

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