Incubator, bar, day care receive facade grants from Youngstown

YOUNGSTOWN — The city’s design review committee approved three exterior improvement projects — including one that was postponed three times — making them eligible to receive grant money from Youngstown’s facade program.

With the three approvals Tuesday, the committee has authorized 48 businesses to receive grants.

City council in December 2022 approved setting aside $1 million of Youngstown’s $82.78 million in American Rescue Plan funds for the facade program. It allows eligible companies to receive up to $20,000 each to help pay for the cost of exterior improvements.

In order to get the grants, companies have to obtain permission from the design review committee. Companies must show they are paying at least half of the cost of the work.

The facade grants are forgivable loans with a five-year term. Every year a business remains open at its location, 20% of the loan is forgiven until it reaches 100% at five years.

The Youngstown Business Incubator at 241 W. Federal St. was the only new request Tuesday and the only one seeking the $20,000 maximum grant.

YBI is planning to spend $72,500 to repave and repair its main parking lot.

The committee approved a request from JZP Properties, which operates the Steel City Bar & Grill at 1418 E. Midlothian Blvd., for an $8,900 grant. The business is planning a $17,800 project that includes renovating the parking lot, painting and repairing its patio and adding lighting.

JZP failed to send a representative to the meeting, which is held in person and virtually, for three consecutive months before Tuesday. During those three other meetings, the committee deferred a vote waiting for a representative to discuss the project.

Also Tuesday, the committee approved a project from the Happy Camper Learning Center at 518 E. Indianola Ave. to upgrade its fencing and add lighting and shrubs.

A business representative didn’t show up at the March meeting causing the committee to postpone the vote until Tuesday.

The business is planning a $16,989 project and will receive $8,349 from the city’s facade program.

Have an interesting story? Contact David Skolnick by email at dskolnick@vindy.com. Follow him on X, formerly Twitter, @dskolnick.


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