Old Cedars Lounge building in Youngstown remains empty

The Gallagher building downtown is starting to show its age after three years, and the construction project hasn't started

The old Gallagher Building in downtown Youngstown remains vacant after three years.

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A popular nightclub in downtown Youngstown was forced out of the Gallagher Building to make room for a new brew-pub and apartments, but the building has sat empty now for three years.

“We’ve kind of noticed not a whole lot of activity going on there. There were some improvements planned, I’m not exactly sure what the size of those were, but I think the project should have started already,” said Charles Shasho with Youngstown Public Works.

The building where Cedars Lounge used to be is starting to show its age. Bricks are coming loose, windows are smashed and fences are sagging. Shasho says the city has waited long enough.

“Regardless if there is construction going on or not, [the owner] has to maintain the building,” he said. “You know the building needs to be secured, obviously. It needs to be kept in good repair. The grounds around the building need to be kept free of weeds. There’s a number of different provisions in our code enforcement legislation that need to be followed.”

Dominic Gatta, owner of the Gallagher Building, says they are in the planning stages but haven’t started any work yet.

The property owners could be on the verge of missing an important deadline to help fund the project.

Ohio awarded the project $1.3 million in tax credits two years ago. The tax credit office says the project has until the end of July to submit a progress report. If the project isn’t moving forward at the end of the month, the agency can rescind the credit.

There have been no plans filed for downtown projects, building or zoning. Gatta was not available for an interview on Friday, but said he is going forward with the project.

“Next week, we are going to send an inspector out, see what’s going on from there, and then we will go from there,” Shasho said.

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