ISLE to Renovate, Retrofit Fifth Avenue Building

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Iron and String Life Enhancement – ISLE — will move several of its administrative offices in the downtown into one building on lower Fifth Avenue this autumn.

Plans to renovate the façade of the buildings at 28-32 Fifth Ave. were presented to the Youngstown Design Review Committee Tuesday morning.

“We’ve grown so much over the years that we’re currently scattered throughout several buildings,” said Anthony Santangelo, maintenance director of Iron and String. “All our administrative positions for Golden Strings, Purple Cat, and Iron and String will go to this building. Doing this will help us work as one unit, be more organized and prepare us to expand even more.”

As many as 25 administrators will work in the building, Santangelo said, adding that work is expected to be done “late fall or maybe even early winter.”

The two storefronts will be updated with new windows, signage and décor, according to architect Paul Hagman, owner of RBF CoLab Architecture and Design. The interior of the building has been gutted and is ready for renovation, he added.

Inside, the two storefronts will be connected to create one open office space, but the building will keep its two storefronts to “maintain a separation visually.”

After the meeting, Hagman said, “We want to return the existing building front to a traditional storefront look. It will match what’s already next-door with Trinkle Signs.”

Plans show a wooden sign above the entrance to 28 Fifth Ave. – the left entrance when seen from the front of the building – while an existing metal sign frame will be reused and fitted with a new sign.

“There will be some painted decorative wood ornaments and design,” the architect said. “The fronts will have the big wooden signs with bright paint. It will be a nice, old-time storefront that will lead people to Fifth Avenue.”

On the upper floors of the buildings, no work is scheduled except replacement of the windows so they match the new style.

Including the interior work that has been completed, the cost of the project is about $400,000, Hagman said.

Also at Tuesday’s meeting, Park Vista of Youngstown, 1216 Fifth Ave., showed the design committee plans for its Lifelong Learning Center, slated to open early next year. Construction of the 2,000-square-foot addition will begin in August, Park Vista IT executive John Gresko said. The privately funded project will cost about $500,000.

Our Lady of Mount Carmel will put up nine new streetlights and a new column monument at 343 Via Mt. Carmel. The 11-foot column will be have a bell topped with a statue of the Virgin Mary similar to statues found in Vatican City, said Strollo Architects Vice President Kirk Kreuzwieser. The two projects are expected to cost about $300,000 each.

Sterling Williams, owner of Sterling-McCullough Funeral Home, presented his initial plans to close off part of an open lot next to his property. The lot is used as a cut-through for traffic going to a nearby convenience store. At night, Williams said, people use the lot for prostitution and drugs.

“Once I close it off and clean it up, I can help control it. I want to be on the bandwagon,” he said, adding that he will maintain the lot.

The project will cost about $53,000, Williams said.

Brigid Kennedy, co-executive director of The Ursuline Center on South Avenue, presented plans to replace the building portico as well as update the lighting and landscaping. A mural is also being planned for the southern side of the building at 3314 South Ave.

Kennedy said demolition of the building at the corner of Auburndale and South avenues is scheduled to begin July 20. It will eventually be replaced, she added.

Pictured: The building at 28-32 Fifth Ave. downtown that ISLE plans to renovate and retrofit for administrative offices.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.