YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – In February, WKBN reported that the owners of Parkway Towers in Youngstown owed $35,604.65 in back taxes, including penalties and interest.
Monday, WKBN went back and checked, finding that the company that owns the building, Simcha Vashulem, has paid their fine and avoided a civil suit and foreclosure by the city. But they still hasn’t made the repairs they agreed to back in 2014 that helped them avoid a criminal investigation.
“I think it kind of exemplifies a broader challenge of many buildings in the city, that have out of town owners that don’t respect local building codes or generally the state of the neighborhoods,” Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corp. Director Ian Beniston said. “There’s an owner, particularly one that’s far away, who may not really care about the neighborhood or the community and can have a significant negative impact.”
The building has sat empty for several years. Before it was closed, the building held 40 apartments.
Rather than make repairs to the building, the owners closed the building to tenants, boarded it up and leased the roof to house cell phone towers.
Simcha Vashulem, based in Brooklyn, New York, also said they’d bring the property up to code. Mayor John McNally said the company did paint at least part of the building during the summer of 2015.
But WKBN returned to the location Monday and found peeling paint.
No contact information was available for Simcha Vashulem. WKBN did contact a message with the attorney that represented them in court last year, but received no reply.
Beniston said he hopes property owners having difficulty renovating their properties reach out.
“There are many tools and ways that you can bring a building like that back to life,” Beniston said.