Over the last 5 years, downtown has been in a transformation mode into an entertainment destination in the Mahoning Valley. People now actually have the choice of going to Boardman or downtown for their entertainment on the weekends. If they want to go to the movies, they have to go elsewhere; but if they want to go see professional arena football, downtown is the way to go.
Five years ago, downtown was a GHOST TOWN. Today, there is more and more people downtown every night for different events at the Chevrolet Centre, to have a drink at one of the many bars, or to see a show at the beautiful DeYor Perfoming Arts Center. There are new buildings being put up, such as the 7th District Court of Appeals, the Mahoning County Children’s Services Building, or the future Youngstown Technology Center.
This is great progress, but a lot of work still needs to be done. There are still quite a few dilapidated buildings down there and there still is a lack of residential units; which are coming next year in the Reality and Wick Buildings.
What I’d like to see downtown is better signage, such as this sign to the right, which is prevalent in
Downtown Pittsburgh. The red represents YSU, the blue downtown, and the green Smokey Hollow; which is one neighborhood with a plan to get things done in the next 5-10 years. I think it would look nice in downtown and gives the visitors a direction of where they are at and where they need to go.
What I’d also like to see is an exploration into the idea of a riverwalk. Now it would be hard considering 2 railroads run parallel on each side of the Mahoning River, but I’m sure it’s possible. I think the creation of speciality shops and restaurants along the river, right next to the Chevy Centre would create a bright atmosphere, and make people think they were in a major city.
These are all ideas we need to consider, and I’d love to hear from you on your own thoughts.