City leaders fight to save abandoned McDonald’s in Youngstown

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Those in charge of revitalization say the building is in good shape and can be repurposed

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – People are banding together to save an abandoned McDonald’s building in Youngstown before it’s torn down.

The former restaurant on Market Street in the Uptown District is a building that could still very much be used.

“My concern is it’s a great building. It’s in good shape,” said Mike Durkin, blight remediation superintendent.

“I do think it can be reused for some productive purpose,” said Ian Beniston, with Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation.

The McDonald’s is a relatively modern building, constructed in 1989 and closed in 2017. The grass is mowed, the landscaping is maintained. In certain places, there’s shattered glass and boarded windows.

The McDonald’s Corporation of Chicago owns the property.

“Most recently, it was opened and a number of windows were broken out for weeks,” Beniston said. “It should not be the city, or the neighborhood or the residents’ responsibility to take care of their property.”

“It keeps getting vandalized. So we contact the owners, the management company, and even McDonald’s has responded to us a couple times, and they come out within a very reasonable amount of time and fix it up, but it’s going to be constant,” Durkin said.

“They had a restaurant here for decades starting in the ’80s. They extracted and made a lot of money from this neighborhood and this is what they do for it in return,” Beniston said.

Beniston has an idea for what McDonald’s should do.

“I would like to see the McDonald’s Corporation do the right thing and donate this property to the land bank so it can be used productively again before it’s destroyed,” he said.

We contacted McDonald’s about its plans for the building. They said they would likely have a response sometime Tuesday.

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