YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – It’s been just over a year since the Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation took over its largest property yet — renovating the first house the city ever seized through new spot blight laws.
YNDC is renovating 3726 Glenwood Ave. on the south side from top to bottom, getting it ready to sell.
A lot has changed at the five-bedroom house over the past few months. There are new windows, fixtures, and a sense of excitement around the home, which is a big change from the years it sat empty.
“We uncovered some leaded glass windows in the back that were really cool that we didn’t expect to find,” Sokol said. “They were original. They were actually covered by stucco on one side and drywall and through the demo, we just happened to find them.”
Some of the discoveries weren’t so good, like the fact that the entire foundation in one area had to be replaced.
“The garage basement wall was actually bowed in quite a bit so we had to do a major structural repair,” Sokol said. “We had to jack up the garage ceiling, lift it up, and replace the entire back wall of the garage.”
One of the largest hurdles the group had to clear was repairing the foundation wall. It was an expense they didn’t expect.
“We knew this was going to be a big budget project going in, and we were prepared for that,” said YNDC Housing Director Tiffany Sokol. “Part of the reason we are able to do this house — and actually rehabilitate some other homes we are working on in the city that we wouldn’t have been able to do before — is because of our partnership with the City of Youngstown.”
The city said this particular house was such a drag on the neighborhood, they had to take it through eminent domain. That’s a tool that could be used in the future.
The house had last been sold as a land contract but unable to keep up with repairs, the tenants walked away.
“It’s definitely a tool we could use in the future. This particular house was owned by Harbor Portfolio, which has become kind of nationally notorious for their practices of land contracting,” said YNDC Director Ian Beniston.
The asking price is expected to be more than $150,000. That’s two to three times more than the average YNDC house.
YNDC has kept up with other work while the Glenwood Project goes on. Three new houses are going on the market this week.