Ahead of Council Vote, Anthony’s on the River Demolished

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Demolition on the former Anthony’s on the River building began over the weekend, days ahead Youngstown City Council’s vote on whether to approve an emergency demolition.

City council was supposed to vote on the measure at its meeting Wednesday. Business Journal reporters made calls to Youngstown’s deputy director of public works Charles Shasho, its director of economic development T. Sharon Woodberry and the man who incorporated the company that owns the site, Ron Eiselstein, to determine why demolition had moved ahead – or if it was even the city that had demolished the 110-year-old building – but no calls were returned

By Monday morning, the building was reduced to a pile of rubble, with an excavator and dump truck on site hauling away what remained.

According to a document published by the city of Youngstown, emergency demolitions can be performed on building in “imminent danger of collapse.” The costs of emergency demolitions are recovered from the property owner.

Two Bridges LLC, incorporated by Eiselstein according to documents with the Ohio Secretary of State, bought the property in February 2019 for $100,000. Months earlier, in late November 2018, Oak Hill Collaborative’s executive director and then-spokesman for Two Bridges Pat Kerrigan said the planned renovation would be “another example of what’s going on with the renaissance of downtown Youngstown and not only for businesses but the consumers and people in the community.” 

The former Anthony’s on the River building on Friday, Aug. 21.

Potential uses for the building and surrounding site  detailed at the time included restaurants, offices, townhouses and a residential high-rise.

Two Bridges, he said at the November 2018 press event, is a group of local, regional and national investors. On Friday, however, Kerrigan told The Business Journal he hadn’t spoken to Eiselstein in months.

The building at 15 Oak Hill Ave. was constructed in 1910 by the St. Vincent DePaul Society and was most recently Anthony’s on the River, which opened in 1997. The building has sat vacant since the early 2010s.

“It could be a great piece of property,” Kerrigan said last week. “It had been in disrepair for five years. When you’re on the river, you’re going to have water if you don’t have proper insulation in the basement.”

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