City OKs facelifts at 3 locations

Exterior projects being planned

YOUNGSTOWN — The city’s design review committee approved exterior plans for three projects: the Penguin City Brewing Co., Stambaugh Auditorium and Ohio Urban Renaissance.

Penguin City bought a former Republic Steel warehouse at 460 E. Federal St. for $575,000 in December and is planning a $3.7 million renovation.

The 32,704-square-foot location should open in September or October, Annissa Neider, the project’s architect, told the committee at a Tuesday meeting.

The exterior work includes painting, replacing broken windows and panels, installing a front patio with fencing, improving the parking lot and doing landscaping.

New signs will be placed on the building including one on the south side that will read: “Tough times don’t last, tough cities do!”

“The slogan is a mantra for the city of Youngstown,” Neider said. “We’re making a statement coming into the city that we’re back and better than ever.”

The owners are transforming the closed warehouse into a taproom and restaurant with offices as well as a location for brewing, bottling and distribution. A banquet space is planned for the future, Neider said.

Hunter Morrison, the city’s planning consultant who ran the committee meeting, called the project “a game changer for the east end of downtown and a game changer for Youngstown. This is a big, bold statement.”

Nikki Posterli, the mayor’s chief of staff and head of the city’s community planning and economic development department, said: “This is fantastic. We really, really appreciate what you’ve done in this corner of the city.”

The property first was developed in 1884 as a stable, saloon, wagon shop and lumber yards. It’s been a hotel, restaurant, billiards parlor, blacksmith shop, candy shop, steel and iron fabricators, and steel warehouse throughout the years, according to Penguin City.


Meanwhile, the committee approved the exterior project to renovate the stairs at Stambaugh Auditorium, 1000 Fifth Ave. The stairs are original to the 95-year-old building.

The $5.1 million project includes removing and replacing the stairs and pavilion with existing limestone being reused and new limestone used as required.

The work also includes adding an Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant ramp from the garden, restoring the Fifth Avenue exterior, replacing the doors and adding exterior lighting, said Denise Holt, project manager for GDP Group, which is handling the project.

“We’ve been working on this for a very long time,” Matt Pagac, Stambaugh’s chief executive and operating officer, said.

The project’s plans date back to 2013.

“We hopefully will get this done and in a year from now we’ll be looking at a newly restored staircase,” Pagac said.

Also approved Tuesday was a $42,605 improvement project to the Ohio Urban Renaissance facility at 421 North Ave., the former Buckeye Elks Lodge.

The work to the garden area includes a walkway, seating, a raised platform stage and a brick pizza oven. It’s expected to be finished later this year.

OUR is a nonprofit organization that engages and educates inner-city teens to those in their early 20s.



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