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Potential buyers show interest in historic Youngstown fire station

Youngstown is littered with abandoned fire stations. According to the website Youngstown fire dot com — there are eight of them — five on the South Side — and one each on the three others sides. When Station 7 closes at year’s end — there will be nine — but in this case there will be an effort to repurpose it. At the corner of Elm and Madison on Youngstown’s North Side — the cornerstone of fire station 7 sums up its historical value — erected in 1903. “IT’S A WONDERFUL BUILDING AND IT SHOULD BE MAINTAINED AS PART OF THE PERSONALIITY OF THIS NEIGHBORHOOD.” Jim Converse is a leader of Common Wealth Inc. — which has already spent 11 million dollars renovating five buildings on Elm Street ner the fire station. Converse says — if the price is right — Common Weatlh Inc. would be interested in buying Station 7. “WOULD COMMON WEALTH BE INTERESTED FOR $60,000 TO $80,000? WE’D CONSIDER THAT AS A POSSIBILITY.” One other potential buyer could be Youngstown State. When asked about purchasing the building — President Jim Tressel wrote, “We always look at real estate in our footprint.” “SO WE’RE NOT BUYING ANY OF IT. WE WANT REAL ANSWERS, WE WANT A REAL PLAN, AND IF AT ALL POSSIBLE WE WANT TO SAVE THIS STATION.” Johnathan Blackshire — President of the Wick Park Neighborhood Association — has planned a rally for Saturday to let city officials know what his members want. But Blackshire also knows the fire chief has already said the station will close. “WE’VE GOT THE FLORIST ACROSS THE STREET WHO JUST WENT VACANT, AND OF COURSE THE GROCERY STORE IT’S BEEN VACANT FOR A WHILE. WE DON’T NEED ANOTHER BLACK EYE TO THIS NEIGHBORHOOD.” “IT’S STILL A LANDMARK ON THE LOWER NORTHSIDE.” Bill Lawson of the Mahoning Valley Historical Society provided a picture of Station 7 in its original state with a ornamental slate roof — and horses. “I THINK IT’S DEFINITELY WORTH SAVING BECAUSE OF ITS PLACE IN THE COMMUNITY.” “A RESTAURANT WOULD BE A GREAT THING FOR IT WOULDN’T IT? IT WOULD BE WONDERFUL. WE’VE ALSO THOUGHT ABOUT HAVING ANOTHER BAR. THERE’S A LOT OF LOCAL CRAFT BREWRIES. WE’VE HAD SEVERAL PEOPLE INTERESTED IN THOSE. WE’RE OPEN. IF SOMEONE HAS A GOOD The building that houses Station 7 is owned by developer Dominic Marchionda. I tried contacting him today about his plans for the building — but haven’t yet heard back. The rally on Saturday begins at 4pm at the corner of Elm and Broadway — where they will walk the five blocks south to Station 7 to talk about keeping it open — and the need for a comprehensive plan for fire protection in Youngstown. Also five blocks from Station 7 — at Bryson and Woodbine — is where a vacant apartment building stood for a better part of 20 years. It was a major eyesore in the Wick Park neighborhood. But the building has now been torn down. The demolition started last week. Today they were moving some dirt around — leveling the lot.

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