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Youngstown: Another Downtown Revitalizes

Earning negative press as a put-America-back-to-work campaign stop, the Ohio city also suffered from reported connections to crime. Now private developers are working alongside Youngstown State to bring people back.
June 11, 2015, 6am PDT | Philip Rojc | @PhilipRojc
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Ohio Redevelopment Projects - ODSA

For a long time, downtown Youngstown was a lost cause, victim to classic Rust Belt troubles. "The town never recovered from the demise of the steel industry and also carries a reputation for connections to organized crime. Plenty of skeptics remain regarding the latest small, yet significant steps toward new growth."

Reinvention began tentatively with a university. "The gradual expansion of Youngstown State University is one of the oft-cited reasons for people moving into the downtown corridor, but not all the new residents are tied to the school." The fossil fuels extraction industry is also bringing people back to the area

Private developers caught on to a possible trend and have begun developing mixed-use projects for the downtown core. "'I'm originally from the area, and as we started seeing the meltdown of the housing market in 2008 we began looking into multifamily opportunities including student housing,' said Mr. [Dominic] Marchionda, chief executive of NYO Property Group in Youngstown."

Redevelopment depends on people coming to live downtown. "The developers agree that the next big piece of the puzzle is a grocery store that could help spur more residential-based development and change perceptions."

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Published on Tuesday, May 26, 2015 in New York Times
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