A Youngstown organization received a $150,000 national grant to renovate a South Side commercial property

CommunityWINS award to be used to renovate South Side commercial site

By David Skolnick



Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corp. received a $150,000 grant from the Wells Fargo Foundation to complete the renovation of 2246 Glenwood Ave., a vacant commercial property.

Mayor Jamael Tito Brown accepted the national CommunityWINS [Working/Investing in Neighborhood Stabilization] grant at the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ annual meeting in Boston over the weekend.

Youngstown won first place in the small-cities category – cities with populations of less than 75,000 residents. The grant recognizes nonprofits and cities for leadership in driving neighborhood stabilization, economic development and job creation efforts.

The South Side property is a former Rescue Mission of the Mahoning Valley warehouse and office building, said Ian Beniston, the agency’s executive director, who also attended the grant event. The renovations will modernize the 18,410-square-foot structure into several spaces for neighborhood-serving small businesses, he said.

The money will be used for building upgrades and improvements to the parking lot, Beniston said.

It is part of YNDC’s Revitalize Youngstown Initiative, a public-private partnership designed to stabilize the city’s distressed and transitional neighborhoods by making strategic investments to eradicate blight, improve housing and property conditions.

In February, the Western Reserve Port Authority agreed to purchase the Glenwood Avenue building for $125,000, lease it to YNDC for up to 18 months and then sell it to YNDC, Beniston said. The deal allows YNDC time to create a plan to renovate the building to make it easier for tenants to use, he said.

YNDC has worked for the past six or seven years to improve the Glenwood Avenue area, Beniston said.

“It’s part of our neighborhood plan of action,” he said. “We’re going to attract small businesses to the building. We feel we can have multiple tenants there by the fall.”

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