Legal Arts Owner Envisions Apartments, Rooftop Bar

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – A first-floor restaurant, apartments and a rooftop bar are among the possibilities envisioned for downtown’s Legal Arts Centre building, the building’s owner said Tuesday.

Brian Angelilli, president and owner of GreenHeart Companies LLC in Boardman, discussed plans for the downtown building during Tuesday’s meeting of the city’s Design Review Committee. 

Greenheart received approval from the committee for exterior improvements the company intends to make to the property at the corner of Market Street and Boardman Street. YO Properties 101, which is affiliated with GreenHeart, acquired the building in 2019. 

Among the improvements approved is using Hardie board to cover and support a thin line of decaying masonry in one section on the building’s facade, Angelilli said. 

According to documents presented to the city, the company also plans to repair and repoint the building’s masonry; caulk and paint exterior wall panels and adjacent surfaces; replace the storefront system; repair and replace the parking deck hollow core plank; and repair and replace soffit lighting.

The intent is to match the existing color scheme and materials as closely as possible, Angelilli said.

The company is working toward reopening the building’s renovated parking deck in February, he said. He also envisions finding a tenant for the ground-floor space where the Hub restaurant operated for several years, targeting a “breakfast-lunch type operation,” whether that would be a mom-and-pop or national chain. 

“We’re talking to several people,” he said. 

Potential uses for the upper levels of the building include a boutique hotel or residential apartments, but he plans to develop that space for a single user, he said. He also suggested a potential rooftop bar at the building.

“It’s a heck of a rooftop situation,” he said. “There will be something up there at some point.”    

Among those during the meeting who voiced their approval of Angelilli’s plans was city planning consultant Hunter Morrison, who ran the meeting.  

“This is a building that has a sort of midcentury modern historic quality to it,” he said. “I’m glad to see that you’re doing what you can” to preserve it.

Julius Oliver, First Ward councilman, lauded Angelilli’s efforts. “The entire city will appreciate putting another building back into use in downtown Youngstown,” he said. 

During the meeting, the committee also approved plans submitted by Strollo Architects for a pre-engineered metal building addition to Valley Foods, 335 E. Boardman St.   

The addition will accommodate 7,400 square feet of additional manufacturing space and 6,600 square feet of new freezer-cooler space, David Roose, project manager with Strollo Architects, told the committee. 

The siding on the addition will match the color of the existing structure, with whit metal panels on the freezer and cooler section and brown siding wall of the factory space. 

The project still requires review by the city Planning Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals to consider issues including a potential vacation of part of Douds Alley that Valley Foods is in negotiations with the city to acquire, Roose said. 

Valley Foods has not submitted its application to the planning and zoning department, so it likely would not make the agenda for this month’s meeting, scheduled for Jan. 19, said Nikki Posterli, the city’s director of community planning and economic development.   

Pictured: The Legal Arts building in downtown Youngstown is in the midst of renovations. 

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