Economic Development

City Board Acts on Bel Park, Amphitheater

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The city’s Board of Control this morning approved an agreement to buy the long-vacant Bel Park Professional Building.

The $355,000 purchase of the building, 1005 Belmont Ave., was among several development-related items that appeared on this morning’s agenda that also included an agreement to redevelop the former Bottom Dollar Food on Glenwood Avenue and several items dealing with the riverfront park and amphitheater project.

In February, City Council declared the Belmont Avenue property, which primarily had been used for medical offices, a public nuisance. The owner, Behnam David Enayati of Los Angeles, “couldn’t provide us with any plan within a timely manner of redeveloping the property,” said T. Sharon Woodberry, the city’s director of community planning and economic development.

“It’s something we’ve been looking at for a while so we’re happy we were able to reach an agreement with the owner,” Mayor John McNally, president of the Board of Control, said.

The building is across from St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital. The Belmont corridor is an area the city has sought funding for under the federal Transportation Infrastructure Generating Economic Recovery, or Tiger, grant program. The city will demolish the building once it takes possession, Woodberry and McNally said.

“I expect there to be some interest pretty quickly,” McNally said. “Once the property closes, we’ll work on getting the property down and green it up and go from there.

Also during the meeting, the city approved a development agreement with Ohio North East Health Systems Inc., which does business as One Health Ohio, to open a health clinic in the former Bottom Dollar Food grocery store on Glenwood Avenue. The store closed in late 2015.

The clinic will offer services similar to those at its Wick Avenue clinic, Woodberry said. That clinic offers family practice medicine, dental care, behavioral health and pharmacy services, according to the company’s website.

One Health Ohio will purchase the building for $150,000, according to the agreement. Once the transaction closes, One Health Ohio will have one year to begin work on converting the building to its new use and two years to open the clinic.

In other business, the board approved several items related to the riverfront park and amphitheater project, including entering into a memorandum of understanding with the Youngstown Foundation to accept its donation of $3 million, as announced last week. In exchange, the foundation will have the amphitheater’s naming rights for 20 years.

Other related items included approving an environmental covenant for the former Wean United building, permitting the property to be used for the amphitheater project while shielding the city from environmental liability.

In addition, the board approved entering into professional services agreements with Peller and Associates for professional services related to oversight of the overhead steel and stage structure for the amphitheater and with Brandon Bucar related to sound and lighting requirements at the amphitheater site.

The professional service fee for the steel work is $170 per hour not to exceed $6,000. The fee for the sound and light contract is $12,000, to be paid at $3,000 per month.

The board also approved an agreement with CT Consultants for an analysis of a two-block area on Oak Street west of the Himrod Avenue Expressway for $15,000.

CT will evaluate the state of the properties near the site where Joseph Co. International is developing its $20 million campus, to determine whether they are blighted, Woodberry said.

“We want to be proactive in getting additional property, and certainly [CEO Mitchell Joseph] is interested in it,” she added.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.