A community worth investment, local business owner says the east side has opportunity

Local News

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The east side of Youngstown has seen its fair share of transformation over the years. One local business feels there is still life there. 

Nicky’s Pizza has been on McCartney Road on the east side since it opened in 1972.

“Original location, original spot. Same family, owned, runned, same recipe everything… Customer comes in and says ‘I remember when you were a little baby running around in the crib,’ now I have my daughter running around here as a little baby and my brother’s kids too,” said Salvatore Melfi, co-owner of Nicky’s Pizza.

Melfi says they never thought about leaving the east side because the community has been so good to them. 

While Nicky’s and other small businesses like it continue to flourish there, many businesses have left. 

Bowling Alleys, department stores, grocery stores once filled the Lincoln Knolls and McGuffey Plazas. Although they are no longer there, residents still feel there is opportunity in this community.

“We appreciate what they’ve given us, we’d like to give back to them… The opportunities down here are great. Property cost is low, rent is low. If you’re young and you want opportunity to try something, you can make it here,” Melfi said.

In 2005, the City of Youngstown presented the 2010 Youngstown Citywide Comprehensive Plan. This plan had specific details on intentions for areas of each side of town.

The McGuffey Plaza was hoped to become somewhat of a town center for the east side. But, now the land sits vacant. 

WKBN is working to find out more about the 2010 Citywide Comprehensive Plan and whether or not other projects are still in place. 

For now, there is plenty of space to invest in on the east side of Youngstown with new businesses and room for new homes. 

“I see it growing… There’s a lot, a lot of good people in this area,” Melfi said.

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