64 Ridge Avenue, Youngstown

Youngstown OKs Agreement for Ridge Avenue Building

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – A Ridge Avenue building that 1st Ward Councilman Julius Oliver earlier this year proposed for a business incubator and youth-oriented community center will instead be used as a senior center operated by Mahoning-Youngstown Community Action Partnership.

The city’s Board of Control on Friday morning approved a $150,000 professional services agreement with the Western Reserve Port Authority to administer the project, which will include acquiring the former Meridian HealthCare building at 64 Ridge Ave. Funds for the agreement are coming from the $2 million share of American Rescue Plan money designated for the 1st Ward.

“I didn’t want [the building] to fall into the wrong hands,” Oliver said. “I didn’t want it to become something that was going to be a detriment to my ward. I wanted to be a jewel.” having a senior center “definitely improves my ward,” he added.

The port authority will transfer the property to MYCAP, which plans to open a senior resource and community center in the approximately 5,600-square-foot building. The port authority approved entering into the agreement with the city at its June meeting.

“It’s actually the perfect marriage for three needs that came together in a way that is a benefit for the community, a benefit for our seniors, and putting good use to the ARP dollars,” said Nikki Posterli, chief of staff to Mayor Jamael Tito Brown and director of the city’s community planning and economic development department.

“The port authority has worked diligently with the city of Youngstown to find a suitable end user,” said Nick Chretien, WRPA’s regional planning and development manager.  

During listening sessions held to help the city determine how to use its $82.7 million ARP allocation, one of the needs identified by residents was for a space where seniors could meet and have activities, Posterli said. MYCAP had been looking at other locations but couldn’t find one that met its needs.

“When Councilman Oliver was made aware of this property that was becoming available, he wanted to make sure that it got into the right hands and that it would served a community purpose,” she said. “So that all came together.”

Oliver “still wants to have that community vision” for the youth and incubation center, she said.

At its meeting next Wednesday, City Council will consider an ordinance, proposed by Oliver, to ent er into a seven-month consulting agreement with Youngstown Area Jewish Federation “with the primary objective of developing a paradigm for the creation of a job-training youth education center.” The $30,000 for the agreement also will come out of the ARP allocation for Oliver’s ward.

“Once that study is done, we’ll know exactly what we need,” Oliver said.

MYCAP CEO Sheila Triplett was unavailable to comment.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.