Friday, December 11, 2009

if we're going to build a parking deck, please oh please - let's do it right

from Friday's Business-Journal, on a new parking deck to be potentially constructed downtown along Commerce Street:
"Under the [2010 omnibus] appropriations act, which awaits a Senate vote and approval by the president, the 17th congressional district would receive a total $7.945 million, including $450,000 for the Youngstown Central Area Community Improvement Corp. to develop a 200-space parking facility to support Phase 4 of the Tech Block downtown. The deck would feature a pedestrian walkway to the $16 million Tech Block project, Ryan said.

Last month, the CIC authorized a financial and engineering feasibility study of a parking deck on the site of a surface lot that now accommodates 255 vehicles. The proposed lot, which could have 600 to 1,000 spaces, would be available for downtown workers and students at Youngstown State University, the CIC said at its November meeting."
In the world of parking decks, there are poorly designed parking decks and well-thought out parking decks.

Youngstown needs a good parking deck . . . with window space for design and limited commercial space on the street level for capacity growth.

Just think, plopping down a monolithic structure with no street interaction effectively creates a dull and lifeless pedestrian zone around the perimeter of the building.

In the space around the perimeter of the structure, there could be spaces for some amenities needed in the downtown neighborhood. For example: a dry cleaning business is needed, in addition to a convenience store or a bodega with basic sundries.

Here are some pictures of what I'm talking about in a recent trip to Baton Rouge:

In a nutshell, we are going to place a parking garage in the downtown which will be in that spot for the next 30 years.

please . . .

Let's do it right and incorporate some long-range planning.

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btw, Baton Rouge also has a Kress Building it is attempting to renovate. Check it out:


Thursday, December 10, 2009

volunteers needed for 10th anniversary of First Night Youngstown

would you like a free button to attend all the festivities on December 31st for First Night Youngstown, with $5 dollars off for every one of your family members?

Or just want to help the effort and pitch in?

Volunteers are needed to work three-hour shifts at the event on December 31st. The span volunteers are needed is from 6pm to midnight.

if interested, please call the First Night Offices at (330) 718-6945.

An orientation meeting is planned for December 16th at 6pm if you'd like to come and hear more information. The meeting will be at the First Night offices in the big room (in the City Centre One building) facing Champion Street, that is, the space in between the main entrance of the downtown YMCA and Federal Street.

for some picts and video of First Night two years ago, click here.

I'd like to see this amazing performer there in the years to come:

click here to see an even more impressive performance.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

MVHS overview video now online

this video provides a nice overview of the Mahoning Valley Historical Society.

you can see more about their efforts to create a new history museum downtown here.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

exterior bricks going up on the new YSU business school

construction update:

The exterior bricks are now being applied to the new home of the Williamson College of Business, a 110,000 sq ft (that's huge) LEED certified structure, designed to connect YSU's campus with the core of the downtown.

In the distance, you can see the steeple of the First Presbyterian Church of Youngstown, the oldest church in the Western Reserve.

The church was founded on the first of September 1799, when this part of the world was a claim of the state of Connecticut - over 210 years ago.

To the left, you can see the newly-painted communications tower. At night, the gleaming red letters of YSU really widen the illuminated footprint of downtown.

You can see more pictures of what the exterior and interior will look like here.

To the left of the picture below, you can see the YWCA of Youngstown - also undergoing massive renovation at the moment.

The $8.1 million YMCA project will include 30 housing units and will restore parts on the building back to its 1911 grandeur.

At the base of one side of the building are the massive letters WILLIAMSON.

If what you see here excites you, consider giving to the construction campaign for the building.

Currently a $1.2 million matching grant by the Kresge Foundation is promised - but only if YSU can raise $2.4 million by December 31st.

That's in three weeks!

Click here to find out more concerning the challenge grant.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

PaPa's Puerto Rican Diner now open on East Side [near Hubbard]

If you've traveled between downtown Youngstown and Hubbard along Route 62/Route 7 over the past two months, you may have seen the sign for Papa's Diner - now serving Puerto Rican cuisine and good breakfast fare.

Saturday the SY blog had the good fortune to go inside and try out a few of their dishes.

Let's check em out.

located in a brick structure, which seems to include a few additions onto a house (like other local favorites such as the Boulevard and the Golden Dawn), Papa's Diner is open from 8am to 6pm Monday through Saturday, and until 8pm on Fridays.

The highlight of the dishes I tried was the roast pork with rice and beans for just over 7 dollars.

Great cut of tenderloin here:

The chicken pastelillo was a great choice too. Crispy crust, juicy meat, not greasy.

Another nice dish was the steak sauté topped with onions and peppers marinated in vinegar and oil, with four plantains on the side for 6 dollars.

Inside was a nice flat-screen television to watch games and morning shows, with stool seating at the counter and sit-down areas both in front and the cozy room in the back.

A steel mill painting and other great ethnic/religious accents added to the classic Youngstown style.

Due to how great the food and service was, Papa's Diner has been added to our Gems of Youngstown map. Click here for the description, or here for the map itself.

Papa's Diner
open Monday to Saturday 8am to 6pm (and till 8pm Friday)
is located at 2104 Hubbard Road in Youngstown
just 200 yards south of the Tod Engine Heritage site
which is worth a visit as well.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

congrats to Youngstown Ursuline and Youngstown Mooney for bringing home twin state championships

Two high schools based in the City of Youngstown were crowned State Champions in football on Friday.

Youngstown Ursuline defeated Coldwater 55-25 for its 3rd state championship.

Youngstown Mooney defeated Columbus St. Francis DeSales 35-7 for its 7th state championship.

way to bring it home.

congrats to the families and friends who supported their student athletes.

According to this article in the Youngstown Vindicator, this was the first year two teams from the Mahoning Valley won state football championships in the same year, and it was the first time a local school has won back-to-back titles (Ursuline).

- - -

just as impressive, an Ursuline student was one of 90 high schoolers in the country with a perfect 36 on the ACT exam this year.

Talk about running up a score.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

mayor williams on c-span's Washington Journal for the 3rd time this year

At 9am Monday morning, Youngstown Mayor Jay Williams joined the set of C-Span's Washington Journal.

Speaking to a national audience, it was his third appearance in 2009 on the show.

Among the topics discussed:
+ Tuesday's meeting at the U.S. International Trade Commission
+ technology-based employment growth
+ direct foreign investment in Youngstown
+ economic development initiatives with a strong ROI
+ university/city partnerships

and throw in a few phone calls by the diaspora as well...

You can watch the 30 minute clip here: