Penguin City, Stambaugh, Ohio Urban Renaissance Projects Approved

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The city’s Design Review Committee Tuesday approved three projects, one of which stands to be a “game changer” for the downtown community.

The committee approved façade and landscape renovations for the new home of Penguin City Brewing Co. at the corner of Andrews Avenue and East Federal Street. The company intends to rehabilitate the former Republic warehouse into a taproom, restaurant, brewery and distribution operation.

“This is a game changer for the East End of downtown and a game changer for Youngstown,” said Hunter Morrison, the city’s planning consultant. “This is a big, bold statement.”

Penguin City plans to invest $3.7 million and begin work on the block-long, battleship-grey building, now pocked with broken windows, overgrown weeds and an unsightly chain-link fence.

The improvements consist of a new asphalt parking lot and a freshly painted building with Penguin City’s slogan along the side of the building facing East Federal Street, a major gateway into downtown.

Penguin City’s motto, “Tough Times Don’t Last, Tough Cities Do,” represents the grit and determination of Youngstown, said Annissa Neider, architect at A. Neider Architecture LLC.

“The side of the building is not just for Penguin,” she said. “Their slogan is very cognizant of the brand but also of the city of Youngstown.”

The front entrance of the building will be painted black with Penguin City’s logo, and the side will be painted white with its slogan. The project will also replace the broken windows and transparent panels along the East Federal side.

Two new patios will greet visitors in the front of the building, Neider said. One will serve Penguin City while the other will be reserved for Dope Winery & Cider, a tenant that will also operate out of the building.

A former loading dock entrance in the front of the building would instead be replaced by all-glass frontage, while the building’s former offices will be transformed into a taproom/restaurant space.

The plan is to have the taproom open by a September-October timeframe, Neider said.

The committee also approved a long-awaited renovation project to Stambaugh Auditorium, one of the great landmarks of the city.

Among the improvements are new doors, cleaning and replacing where necessary the limestone on the front of the structure, replacement of the Fifth Avenue monumental stairs, new doors, and new lighting to the building.

“We’ve been planning this since 2013,” said Denise Holt of GPD Group.

A third project approved by the committee involves new landscaping for Ohio Urban Renaissance, an inner-city outreach and education organization at 421 North Ave.

The organization wants to make improvements to the garden area that includes a walkway, terraced seating, a raised platform stage and an outdoor brick pizza oven.

“Right now it’s just unused space,” said Samantha Yanucci, representing O.U.R. “We want to perform these landscape improvements to create an actual useable space for these kids that are associated with Ohio Urban Renaissance.”

Pictured: The Youngstown Design Review Committee Tuesday approved the proposed façade and landscape renovations for the new home of Penguin City Brewing Co. at the former Republic warehouse. (Image: Penguin City)

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