Landmark Building Sold; Plenty of Work, Not Enough Tradesmen
What started as a short week after the Labor Day holiday on Monday ended with a major development Friday: The landmark First National Bank building in downtown Youngstown has been sold for $1.37 million.
Don Thomas, managing partner of Platz Realty Group, couldn’t provide details, but he said the new owners have a “broad plan” and “there’s a lot of opportunity for renovation.”
On the subject of Youngstown renovation projects, the city’s Board of Control approved entering into a professional services agreement with the Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation to provide an additional $100,000 for renovation of the former Foster Theater.
That leads to more work, and as George Nelson detailed in the Business Journal’s September issue, representatives of the individual trades agree that work has been plentiful in recent years. But manpower availability remains a critical issue for building trades unions and the companies that employ their members.
Another issue that received attention this week is the permitting process. At a panel discussion in Boardman on Tuesday, one of the participants, Bill Koetzle, a senior adviser to Building a Better America, said “projects are being hampered by an outdated, inefficient and often inconclusive permitting process.”
It was announced in August that Youngstown State University is one of six Ohio universities to receive more than $2 million in funds from the Great Minds Fellowship. Deanne Johnson took a closer look at how those funds will be used.
Speaking of YSU, Guy D’Astolfo talked with Christopher Barzak, a professor of English and world languages, about his new book, “Monstrous Alterations: Stories by Christopher Barzak.”
Here’s a look at those stories and other top stories this week from BusinessJournalDaily.com:
Downtown Landmark Building Sold for $1.3M
The landmark First National Bank building in downtown Youngstown – historically referred to as Central Tower – has been sold to a group of New Jersey developers for $1.37 million, according to the property’s listing agent.
“They see a value in Youngstown,” said Don Thomas, managing partner of Platz Realty Group, which first listed the property in July 2022. READ
Board of Control OKs $100K for Foster Theater Renovation
A year from now, renovation of the former Foster Theater on Youngstown’s South Side could be complete and the building ready for occupancy, Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation’s executive director said Thursday. More than half of the estimated $2.5 million needed for the renovation project has been raised, Ian Beniston said.
During its meeting Thursday morning, the city’s Board of Control approved entering into a professional services agreement with YNDC to provide an additional $100,000 for renovation of the former adult theater. READ
There’s Plenty of Work but Not Enough Tradesmen
With organized labor locals representing building trades near or at full employment, finding new members to fill openings remains a priority.
Representatives of the individual trades concur that work has been plentiful in recent years, but manpower availability remains a critical issue for building trades unions and the companies that employ their members. “We’re always hiring. I’m always taking applications,” says Nancy Weibel of Roofers Local 71. READ
Panel Pushes Need for Changes to Permitting Process
Ohio is poised for development, but an outdated permitting process slows progress and stymies economic growth, according to representatives from labor and industry and a local congressman.
The nonprofit, bipartisan Building a Better America Coalition staged a panel discussion in Boardman on Tuesday to talk about the need for reform in the process to secure permits that allow businesses to build and make improvements. READ
$2.1M Grant to Help Counseling Students at YSU
To help ease the shortage of mental health and addiction counselors, Youngstown State University will pass along to students nearly $2.1 million from the Great Minds Fellowship program.
The money will help students who are studying social work or counseling complete their degrees and enter the workforce. READ
Barzak’s Short Stories Take Fresh Look at Classics
As a writing exercise, Christopher Barzak likes to reimagine, and then rewrite, classic tales and dark literature. The Youngstown-based novelist will take a fresh approach – such as writing it from another character’s point of view – in retelling the original as a short story.
Now, the professor of English and world languages at Youngstown State University has compiled 10 of them into a new book. “Monstrous Alterations: Stories by Christopher Barzak.” READ
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