Economic Development

Amphitheater Advances with $800K Design Contract

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Finance Director David Bozanich said he expects to finalize a contract with MKSK, the Columbus firm the city selected for the amphitheater and riverfront park by the Covelli Centre, within 30 days.

Tonight City Council will consider legislation authorizing the Board of Control to enter into a professional services contract with MKSK for final design and construction management services for the project.

The legislation, proposed by Mayor John McNally, puts the total costs for the services at $800,000. In December, City Council approved establishing a fund of up to $12 million for the proposed $9 million project.

The project is intended to attract shows and touring performing artists during the summer months that prefer outdoor venues, and to provide greenspace near downtown. The city envisions transferring some of the smaller festivals that now take place downtown to the site.

Portions of the project will be bid this year and the remainder in early 2018, with a goal of being open by May, Bozanich said.

Work this year is expected to include completion of the dirt contract, reconstruction and relocation of a century-old sewer line that cuts across the property, and “probably the structure itself,” as well as a new boulevard, some landscaping and parking lots, Bozanich said. Next year likely will see final layout of seating and waterpark features.

“We’re hoping to landscape much of it in the fall so the site is green next year,” he said.

Funding sources for the project include a projected $3 million generated from naming rights and sponsorships.

In October, Gary Small, president and CEO of Home Savings & Loan Co. said his company was in discussions with the city regarding a naming rights deal.

The finance director said he anticipates announcements regarding sponsorships to be forthcoming in two to three months.

“We’re pretty excited about the people who want to participate,” he said.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.