City committee OKs plans for amphitheater

By David Skolnick


Amphitheater site

The city’s Design Review Committee approved plans for the Youngstown Foundation Amphitheater with construction expected to start in April or May.

The project is tentatively scheduled to be done by spring 2019, said Matt McGrath, senior associate for MKSK, the Columbus firm designing the theater and riverfront park.

The amphitheater and park will be built on 12 acres along the Mahoning River from the South Avenue Bridge to just west of Hazel Street. The 3,250-seat amphitheater will be on property that includes the former Wean United site on South Phelps Street.

The committee approved the plans Tuesday for the city-owned facility. The project still needs to get a recommendation from the planning commission, said Taron Cunningham, the city’s Community Development Agency director and a DRC member.

The project is estimated to cost $7.9 million, McGrath said.

The Youngstown Foundation donated $3 million to the project for its naming rights for 20 years.

Mayor Jamael Tito Brown said JAC Management, which will run the amphitheater and also operates the city-owned Covelli Centre, is in contact with foundations and businesses to obtain additional funding for the outdoor facility.

The city is also borrowing $4 million from its federal Community Development Block Grant funds for the downtown amphitheater and riverfront park project. The loan must be repaid over 20 years with an interest rate of 2.59 percent.

The amphitheater will host concerts as well as smaller events such as community festivals.

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