YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Not only are the owners of the historic Parkway Tower in Youngstown not fixing the building, but they aren’t paying thousands of dollars in fines either.
Amber Beall lives in the Wick Park neighborhood and says she’s sick of watching the building, which has sat empty for years, fall apart.
“Enough is enough. They owe the city a ton of money in fines, why not just jump on it?”
There is peeling paint and broken doors, but the building has remained standing because cell phone towers at the top of the building are bringing in thousands of dollars each month.
Mayor John McNally says finding solutions for unsightly buildings in Youngstown is an ongoing battle.
“If the owners continue on the path they are on, it will become unrepairable. It will become an example of what could have been but right now, we have that opportunity to hold their feet to the fire,” Beall said.
The owners owe over $1,600 in fines to the City of Youngstown. They have also been racking up $500 a day in contempt charges for over two years and owe money to the city water department.
In total, they owe over $400,000.
Attorney James Lanzo is listed in the court case, but says he doesn’t know anything about it.
The city took an abandoned property through eminent domain once before, but Code Officer Abigail Beniston says that isn’t an option yet.
“The city is not prepared to purchase the property from the owner, nor do we have anyone interested in repairing it and putting it back into productive use.”
Simcha Vashulem is the landlord who hired a man to take care of the building. That man says he gets paid to keep the grass cut and chase away vandals.
McNally says it’s a start.
“I’m glad that the owners have hired a full-time guard to battle the vandalism issues, but the building has to be brought up to code.”
The property owners have not returned WKBN 27 First News’ request for comment.