Downtown Youngstown Partnership Reveals Plans for 2018

By Ian Frantz

Jambar Contributor

Business owners, faculty members of Youngstown State University and residents of Youngstown met at the Noble Creature Cask House on Jan. 30 for the first Downtown Youngstown Partnership meeting of 2018.

Ellie Platt, co-chair of the DYP advisory team, started the event by talking about how happy she was at how big the DYP had grown since its beginning two years ago.

“To see so many people here shows how much of an impact we have been able to have,” Platt said.

Platt then talked about the DYP’s business spotlight where they considered the Noble Creature Cask House and invited the owners to talk about their plans for the upcoming year. Owners Marcy and Ira Gerhart mentioned their plans to donate a percentage of their profits to a charity, but they are still working out the details.

Michael McGiffin, downtown event coordinator for Youngstown, talked about an update on current projects in Youngstown including the construction on Phelps Street and the progress on the Youngstown Amphitheater.

“The construction hit a water line that caused a spill into East Commerce Street. They have managed to stop it, but the construction may take longer than projected,” McGiffin said.

McGiffin then shifted into the plans for the Amphitheater.

“The Amphitheater has the green light and the plan is to have its first show in the spring of 2019, on a tentative schedule of course,” McGiffin said.

“Roadkill McGillicutty,” a movie being shot near Youngstown, plans to begin filming in Mill Creek Park in the fall, McGiffin said.

“The last movie shot near Youngstown was ‘Them That Follow’ starring Walton Goggins, and its filming helped Youngstown make a $200,000 profit just from the cast and crew visiting the city,” McGiffin said.

McGiffin said the city was interested in the movie and hopes to make a larger profit.

“The city is providing a float loan of $2.5 million to the production. It has zero risk to the city and allows us to get our money whenever we want to,” McGiffin said.

Phil Kidd, associate director of DYP, talked about the cigarette butt project and their future projects.

Kidd said the cigarette recycling containers they have throughout downtown Youngstown have been a huge success and they plan to continue this project.

“We focused on cigarette butts recycling last year. We started out with six containers that we bought ourselves. We’ve been able to afford another six thanks to donations and the results are amazing,” Kidd said.

Kidd then talked about their tree-planting project for this spring and how they plan to tackle this year-long project.

“We’re going to the Raymond John Wean Foundation on Feb. 3 to get approval for a loan for $5,000 to help get training for planting the trees and resetting the area where we plant the trees,” Kidd said.

They will have an answer from the Wean Foundation by the time of their next meeting at the end of February, Kidd said.