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Funds OKd to demolish, restore Paramount

Demolition of a West Federal Street building is one step closer.
theater.jpgThe Ohio Controlling Board released $803,490 Monday to the city from the Clean Ohio Revitalization Fund to clear asbestos and demolish part of the former Paramount Theatre.

Once the project is complete, the historic appearance of the buildings facade will be restored, and portions of the property will become an amphitheater and a parking lot.

It was very important to save the facades of Youngstown, said state Rep. Robert Hagan of Youngstown, D-60th. The buildings have a lot of history, and its important to have people see it.

The city will contribute $269,553 in matching dollars for assessment, acquisition, remediation and demolition activities.

Mayor Jay Williams said the funding was a boost to the city.

He said it will provide an opportunity for an open-air public-gathering space that can be used for farmers markets and will add much-needed parking for hundreds of weekly visitors to the Youngstown Water Department.

Williams said the deteriorating structure is one of the last remaining significant eyesores in that area and cluttered prospective development. He said he thought the project would begin in summer or fall and be completed next year.

The property on West Federal and Hazel streets sits in the middle of a joint development project between the city and Youngstown State University. The renovation project was designed to complement the Central Business Districts entertainment efforts and increase foot traffic to the area.

Revitalizing the Liberty- Paramount Theater is another key component to developing the Central Business and University districts, said state Sen. Joe Schiavoni of Canfield, D-33rd, in a press release. Its critical that our state continues to support Youngstowns efforts to create a business and family-friendly city.

The Liberty-Paramount Theatre originally opened as a vaudeville house in the mid-1910s under the name Liberty Theatre. In the late 1920s, the theater was modernized and occupied by the Paramount Picture Corporation. The theater closed in the mid-1970s and deteriorated as it remained vacant. The city purchased the property in November 2010.
Ohio Office of Budget and Management
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