Signs are key to downtown Youngstown plan

Downtown plan

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – It has been a little over a month since the unveiling of a new vision and action plan for downtown Youngstown.

The goal is to help coordinate the growth of the city. One of the first signs of the new Downtown Vision and Action Plan in Youngstown will be just that.

“If you can see a nice sign that says restaurants or theaters or the museums or the university or YBI, those key destinations. If they’re on a kiosk or on a larger sign or on a landmark sign when you come into downtown, then you know you have arrived somewhere,” said Dominic Marchionda.

Marchionda is the City and University Planning Coordinator for Youngstown State University.

The plan is geared more towards visitors, but is meant to help anyone easily find destinations and events. Youngstown’s Director of Special Projects, Michael McGiffin, gave an update on the project as part of the city’s Economic Action Group’s monthly meeting.

“We want people to come into the downtown or into the neighbors of Youngstown and have a good time, essentially spend their money with us,” said McGiffin.

The city approved $25,000 to start the project last fall. It is currently in the research and development stage, but they hope to have prototypes of the signs soon to help acquire additional funding of at least $100,000 to $200,000.

“It’s something the community can get behind. It’s tangible. You can touch it. You see it. You feel it. Based upon our inventory, we literally had no basic street signage in a lot of places,” Marchionda said. “The city is not going to be left to foot a bill for just one specific area. It is going to be up to the community to what they prioritize, whether it is a foundation or a bank or a private philanthropy, whatever it may take to have this fabricated and installed.”

The signs will likely be placed off nearby highways and then throughout downtown.

“It is a project that would benefit now into the future and the cool thing is it’s a project that’s amendable. So, it can grow with our city as we continue to grow,” McGiffin said.

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