Youngstown Design Review Panel Approves First Façade Grants

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The city’s Design Review Committee approved the first two grants from its newly established façade program Tuesday morning.

Yosteria, 252 Valley St., and Whan Holdings LLC, 116 Linden Ave., each were approved for the maximum $20,000 permitted under the program, which the city established using $1 million of its $82.7 million American Rescue Plan allocation.

The program, which the city launched in January, permits businesses in the city to apply for half of allowable expenses up to $20,000 for new exterior improvements such as painting, signage, siding, landscaping and painting. It is structured as a forgivable loan program, requiring the recipient of the funds to remain at the location for at least five years, with 20% of the loan forgiven each year.

The grant program is being administered by Valley Partners, which reviews the financial information submitted by the applicants, then submits the application to the design review committee for final approval.

Yosteria’s façade project, part of a complete renovation now underway, will entail full renovation of the building façade and associated parking and landscaping, according to city documents. It will include window replacement; signage; two pergolas; brick, sidewalk and walkway replacements; awning and shutters; paving; front porch; and soffit fascia and trim.   

The committee previously approved the proposed exterior upgrades during its July 2021 meeting, said Nick Chretien, a Design Review Committee member. “This is more of a formal step as part of the façade [grant] process,” he said. 

“Nothing has changed,” owner Alex Zordich told the committee members.

Total cost of the exterior improvements is $63,000, Chretien said.

Whan Holdings, which operates as Rainbow Restorations of Youngstown, a fire and water restoration company, plans improvements including Dryvit and painting its building, replacing two windows, repaving the existing parking lot and paving of a new parking lot. 

The project will allow the business to park company vehicles on-site that now are parked on the street, as well as update the building’s appearance, Rachael Ames, chief operating officer, said.

“We’re kind of on our own on Linden. We still take pride in where we’re at,” Ames said.

The company’s efforts “set an example we can point to,” Hunter Morrison, an urban planning consultant for the city who serves on the committee, said.

The design review panel also approved the request by P&L Heat Treating, 313 E. Wood St., to install chain-link fencing and a gate to protect its parking lot. The catalytic converters were stolen from all five of the company’s trucks recently, office manager Lesly Lesnak told the committee members during the meeting.

The company, which has been in the city 40 years, recently expanded its facility to increase sales, she said.

Pictured at top: An artist’s rendering of Yosteria’s façade upgrade.

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