Published: Wednesday, October 24, 2007
New life for Kress facility?
An artist wants to turn a clothing store into a
gallery and bistro.
YOUNGSTOWN A company wants to turn a downtown vacant building into a multipurpose facility.
The Anderson Development Group, which moved from Michigan to Youngstown earlier this year, is seeking to renovate and develop the dilapidated Kress Building on West Federal Street, just east of the 7th District Court of Appeals.
The 45,000-square-foot building is owned by the Youngstown Central Area Community Improvement Corp., a downtown property redevelopment agency. The CIC acknowledges that there is major damage to the building and that it would take a significant investment to repair it.
Anderson officials estimated the cost of their project at $2.2 million, with the job done in phases. They are working to obtain money for the project.
The CIC property committee recommended Tuesday that the full agency board approve giving Anderson a 90-day exclusivity deal for the Kress Building.
The full board will consider the recommendation Tuesday.
During those 90 days, Anderson would provide the CIC with further details.
The company wants to use the first floor as a banquet and multimedia facility, the second floor as a fitness, boxing and mixed martial arts training facility with the two upper floors possibly becoming housing for college students and/or young professionals.
Anderson isn't the only one looking at redeveloping property on West Federal Street.
Artist James Pernotto is interested in buying 27 W. Federal St., owned by Barry Silver, who operates Silver's Vogue Shop on the building's first floor.
Pernotto has leased the building's second floor as his home and art studio for about 20 years.
A boxing gym is in the basement.
Pernotto wants to turn the first floor into art gallery space and eventually a bistro and computer cafe.
He would keep his art studio on the second floor and the boxing gym in the basement.
It will cost $350,000 to buy the building and another $150,000 for the work that needs to be done, Pernotto said.
He said he has a potential investor from New York City interested in funding his proposal, but he wouldn't give a name.
If the building is sold, Silver's, a clothing store, would continue to operate for a period of time out of a smaller portion on the first floor until the bistro and computer cafe were ready to be built, Pernotto said.
Silver said he wants to sell the building, which has been in his family for 37 years, because the economic climate for retail clothing is stagnant.
"Youngstown isn't what it used to be," he said.