YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) — Downtown Youngstown has seen a gradual shift of growth and development over the past 10 years, even drawing the attention of the New York Times.
“What I see happening is it’s a very quiet, but very aggressive move to acquire as much property as possible,” Phil Kidd of Youngstown Nation said.
Kidd said he’s had several people stop into his Youngstown Nation store on Phelps Street, asking about available properties in Downtown Youngstown. Many are looking for first-floor space, which is starting to come at a premium.
“You saw the Realty Building be developed. Then, Erie Terminal and Federal Building, which we’re in right now. I think as those projects started to happen, then the game was on to start to acquire the rest of the real estate because they kind of determined a market is here,” Kidd said.
“We are seeing a lot of companies that want to come to Youngstown. They want to be a part of this revitalization that’s going on down here,” YBI’s Client Development Coordinator Brittany Housel said.
Those like the Youngstown Business Incubator are always thinking ahead, as they continue to expand downtown. YBI is 85-percent filled in its four buildings and starting renovations on a fifth.
“Obviously we want to keep growing the tech block and keep everything contiguous right here downtown. So, if there’s not a building that’s available when we’re ready to grow, then there’s always the option to build,” Housel said.
Kidd said the reverse trend of folks coming back into the downtown is good not only for business, but for city living.
“A lot of the rest of it we’ll probably be infield by residential because people really want to live downtown. It’s becoming like a neighborhood of sorts, which is a trend happening throughout the country,” Kidd said.
The Wick Tower is expected to open Aug. 1.