YNDC Prepares to Show Off Historic Park Property

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Tiffany Sokol confessed Wednesday that her favorite part of the newly renovated house at 900 Old Furnace Road is the restored porch.

During this visit at least.

“I tell everyone a different part is my favorite every time we’re here,” said the housing director for Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corp. “There are lots of things I like about it, definitely.”

YDNC housing director Tiffany Sokol showed the new granite countertops, one of many upgrades at 900 Old Furnace Road.

The city of Youngstown purchased the historic property for $1 from Mill Creek MetroParks in July 2021 and subsequently transferred it to YNDC to renovate and sell. YNDC recently completed three months of renovations to the house and placed it on the market Tuesday for $250,000.

Roughly a century and a half old, the house is definitely the oldest property that YNDC has renovated and one of the most historically significant, Sokol said.

Built sometime between 1860 and 1874 by Robert and Isabelle Hamilton, the property was purchased by Mill Creek MetroParks in the 1890s and used as a YMCA clubhouse before being used as the park superintendent’s residence through the 1990s. It was unoccupied for about 20 years before YNDC acquired it, with the park using it for storage for a time.

The restored house has about 2,200 square feet of living space, excluding the basement, she said.

“One of the first things that we wanted to do to restore the curb appeal here is rip off the walls that were enclosing that front porch and reopen it,” Sokol said. “It has a really nice wraparound porch that serves the original historical purpose of how it was built.”

Other upgrades included the heating/ventilation/air conditioning and electrical systems; replacing the roof, gutters and downspouts; remodeling the two bathrooms; installing ceramic tile flooring and new granite countertops; and refinishing the hardwood floors.     

One of the challenges YNDC staff encountered was the discovery of roots that had invaded the house’s sewer.

“It’s definitely a challenging project,” Sokol acknowledged. “Any home that’s been vacant for that amount of time certainly has its challenges.”

The house already has received multiple inquiries and been shown several times. An open house is scheduled for 5 to 6:30 p.m.

As far as Sokol is concerned, it’s “worth every penny” of the asking price.

“It’s a phenomenal house,” she remarked.

West Side resident Nick Chretien, who is planning and regional development manager for the Western Reserve Port Authority and executive director of Economic Action Group, said he is pleased to see the investment in the historic property.

“It raises the standard for neighborhood quality of life. It increases property values and attracts a higher standard of housing in the city of Youngstown by redeveloping historic properties and iconic properties like this one,” he said.

As much as Sokol likes it, she said she can’t buy the house because, as YNDC’s housing director, it would be a conflict of interest.

“I am basically the only person that can’t buy any YNDC houses because I decide what we do with them and what we sell them for,” she lamented.

Pictured at top: YNDC spent three months upgrading the property at 900 Old Furnace Road.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.