City Council to Consider P&L Abatement, Foster Theater Funding

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – When it meets next week, City Council will consider a tax abatement to support a company’s proposed $2 million investment and a $100,000 allocation to boost efforts to redevelop the former Foster Theater.

Council members heard about P&L Metalcrafts LLC’s proposed expansion of its 1050 Ohio Works Drive plant last month during a May 9 meeting of its community planning and economic development committee. 

Council members will consider a 10-year abatement of personal property taxes not to exceed a 10-year average of 75% on improvements made to the property, according to the ordinance proposed by Mayor Jamael Tito Brown.

The company manufacturers stairwells and railings used in commercial buildings, schools and stadiums, among other products.

The enterprise zone agreement attached to the ordinance outlines P&L’s plans to spend at least $1.65 million and up to nearly $2.58 million at the project site. The proposed spending includes up to $1.5 million in improvements to its existing building and between $750,000 and nearly $1.08 million for inventory, machinery and equipment. The project is slated to begin this spring, with construction and installation to be finished by fall.

Within two years after construction is complete, P&L plans to add 14 employees, most in full-time positions, to its existing workforce of 19. The plans call for adding eight full-time and two part-time permanent jobs within the first year of completing construction, adding $387,840 to the company’s payroll by the end of the first year.  

If approved by City Council, the proposed $100,000 for Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation to support its renovation of the former Foster Theater, 2504 Glenwood Ave., would be the second allocation from the city’s $82.7 million share of American Rescue Plan funds. 

YNDC, which bought the building about two years ago, plans to rehabilitate its façade, renovate the property to provide two commercial spaces at the building’s front and repurpose the seating area as four apartments. 

Council approved a $100,000 allocation request last year from then-Councilwoman Lauren McNally, 5th Ward, out of her ward’s $2 million allotment of ARP funds. After the city redrew its seven wards, the property now is in the 6th Ward, represented by Anita Davis, who proposed an ordinance to allocate the additional $100,000 for the project.

YNDC, which is working with Strollo Architects, Youngstown, is still in the architectural and engineering phase, so an estimated cost for the project isn’t finalized, Ian Beniston, YNDC’s executive director, said. He expects plans to be completed in about a month.

So far, YNDC has secured more than $1 million from nine different funders and is working on an application for another large grant, he said.

“Our ideal time line would be to begin construction sometime in the fourth quarter of this year,” he said. “If that doesn’t work out, it’ll likely be the first quarter of next year.”

Pictured at top: The former Foster Theater building.

Copyright 2023 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.