YNDC Begins $250K Renovation of Building
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Renovation of a four-unit apartment building off Glenwood Avenue is one of several community improvements taking place along the South Side artery, said Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corp. Executive Director Ian Beniston.
YNDC held a groundbreaking Thursday morning to celebrate the $250,000 renovation of the 5,200-square-foot apartment building, 650 Clearmount Drive. Representatives of YNDC, the city and Home Savings Bank, which is providing financing for the project, took part in the event.
YNDC acquired the building about four years ago from its previous owner, an out-of-town investor who had purchased the property but, as with many properties in the area, “never did anything with it,” Beniston said.
The renovation is among eight projects launched or getting under way along the corridor, Beniston said, noting that there will probably be more projects to come. These include One Health Ohio’s upcoming $4 million project to convert the former Bottom Dollar Food grocery store into a health clinic and YNDC’s partnership with the Western Reserve Port Authority on the former Rescue Mission of the Mahoning Valley distribution center.
Renovation of the brick apartment building, built in 1928, began about two weeks ago but kicked into gear this week, said Tiffany Sokol, YNDC housing director.
“It needs a lot of work,” Beniston acknowledged. “Everything will be redone as far as the roof, the mechanicals, windows, doors.”
YNDC also will repair the sidewalk around the apartment building.
“Keep in mind we do try to preserve the historic character of the building,” he added. “We will also be up-lighting the front so you can see it from Glenwood.”
“This is going to be wonderful,” said Anita Davis, Sixth Ward councilwoman. “When you do that kind of buildup and you do that kind of infrastructure repair, it just adds to the cosmetic value but also to the dollar value of the neighborhood.”
Davis, Beniston and Sokol were unsure how long the property had been vacant, but estimated it had been unoccupied for a decade or more.
“When you get into a building this old and it’s been vacant this long, you kind of expect the worst,” Sokol said. “When you find things that are functional and salvageable and especially cool architectural features that you can save, it’s exciting.”
The four units should be ready for occupancy by late September or early October, Beniston said.
“Managing the property isn’t really new for us,” he said. “It’s a little bit of a larger one but we own and manage rental properties right now, primarily in this area.”
Three of the units are about 1,200 square feet, while the fourth has a “bump out in the back” that adds 400 more square feet, Beniston said. All four units have two bedrooms, a front porch, back porch, basement, living room, dining room and bathroom.
The smaller units should rent for $650 per month and the larger for $675, he said.
As part of its efforts Glenwood Avenue, YNDC also has partnered with the Mahoning County Land Bank to clean up the corridor, Beniston said.
The Land Bank, Executive Director Debora Flora said, will hold the properties tax free on YNDC’s behalf. “We will continue to acquire and hold vacant lots along the Glenwood corridor, with the understanding that YNDC will do the maintenance of said properties,” she said.
“We have dozens of properties in the Land Bank along Glenwood already,” Beniston said. “They acquire and we maintain for them, but the point being that we can start assembling the land, so longer term as development opportunities materialize we have the land assembled and cleaned up already so we’re ready to go.”
Pictured: Sixth Ward Councilwoman Anita Davis, YNDC Housing Director Tiffany Sokol and YNDC Executive Director Ian Beniston were among those who helped break ground on the renovation of the apartment building.
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