Vindicator article highlights new business, redevelopment planned for Boardman in 2017

from The Vindicator, January 29, 2017
by Kalea Hall and Jordan Grzelewski

A craft beer bar, a redeveloped plaza and a new restaurant are just a few of the projects coming to the township this year.

The new and improved features are in line with an effort township officials have been focusing on the last few years: redevelopment.

The zoning office is increasingly turning its attention to economic development – reinvestments from businesses already here or attracting new ones.

Businesses and developers are following suit.

CTW Development Corp. of Boardman will start the redevelopment of the plaza at the corner of U.S. Route 224 and Tiffany South Boulevard this week.

The plaza, which houses a Dunkin’ Donuts, Papa John’s Pizza, Subway and other businesses, will be knocked down. A new plaza will be constructed before the old one is gone, and a stand-alone Dunkin’ Donuts with a drive-thru will be built.

The new plaza, at 19,700 square feet, will feature about 10 storefronts, with most of the current occupants expected to stay.

The Dunkin’ will be 2,400 square feet and will have a drive-thru to accommodate 14 vehicles. The current plaza occupies 34,000 square feet.

“It will be more efficient,” said Chuck Whitman, president of CTW. “We are really excited about it.”

When complete, the plaza will be referred to as 1301 Tiffany Plaza. It is supposed to be finished this year.

“That whole plan … will make it look really nice,” said Krista Beniston, township zoning and development director.

The Casual Pint

A new, family-friendly craft beer market is coming to the township.

“We are a Starbucks for craft beer,” said Justin Homer, the Boardman Casual Pint franchise owner. “It’s an amazing setup. We are ecstatic to bring this to the area. It’s something special that I think will really take off in this area.”

The Casual Pint of Youngstown will be located in the Shops at Boardman Park between Sally’s Beauty Supply and Lane Bryant.

The first Casual Pint opened in 2011 in Knoxville, Tenn. At The Casual Pint, customers can purchase pints, buy canned and bottled beers and create their own six-packs. Growlers and kegs also are offered. Light-food menu options also will be available.

“We will be dealing U.S. beers and European beers,” Homer said. “Our focus is to help the local breweries grow a little bit, whether that’s in Ohio or Pennsylvania. That’s the beauty of this concept. This area here has the ability to pull a lot of beer from a lot of different places.”

The Casual Pint of Youngstown is about 3,000 square feet and will feature an outdoor patio. Homer would like to have the beer market open by mid-March.

BJ’S Restaurant and Brewhouse

A BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse will open in April at the site of the now-shuttered Cheddar’s Casual Cafe, 7327 Market St.

BJ’s purchased the land, knocked down the former restaurant and built new. BJ’s, a California-based chain with 177 restaurants in 23 states, submitted construction plans to the Boardman Zoning Department in July 2016.

BJ’s first opened in the late 1970s at locations on the coast of Southern California. It has seven locations in Ohio. The Boardman BJ’s will feature the restaurant’s 130-plus-item menu, including its well-known deep-dish pizza and craft beer.

Hiring for BJ’s will begin in March. It hires between 150 to 200 people for each new restaurant. For information go to:


Giant Eagle still plans to bring a new GetGo location to the township.

“We remain excited to eventually bring Boardman, Ohio, the GetGo Cafe + Market experience,” said Dan Donovan, director of corporate communications for Giant Eagle, in a statement to The Vindicator. “We continue to work with state and local officials to finalize plans for the site at California Avenue and Southern Boulevard and look forward to beginning construction in the coming months.”

The Pittsburgh-based company applied to build the new location at the busy intersection in 2014. The GetGo will feature a restaurant, convenience store and fueling station.

Being Proactive

Going forward, township officials plan to devote more attention to economic development. When Beniston took over leadership of the zoning office last year, for example, she took on a new duty: development director.

“We added that on there because that’s essentially what we’re doing here in the township,” said township Administrator Jason Loree. “We want to have a stronger thought process for our development.”

Beniston said her goal is to be more proactive about development opportunities, rather than just giving out permits to businesses that reach out to her office.

A longer-term goal, she said, is to revitalize a business corridor township officials believe has enormous potential: the stretch of Market Street north of Route 224.

She and Loree envision the corridor as someday being walkable, similar (on a smaller scale) to places like Columbus’ High Street.

Market Street Model

Whereas much of the township features large-scale commercial properties, Beniston said that area would be ideal for a different model.

“I think it really could be a mixed-use, walking corridor,” she said.

“I’ve seen it in other communities,” Loree said. “Can it work on Market Street? I believe it can. … It’s an exciting prospect.”

Realization of that vision is a long while out, but Beniston would like to start planning this year.

“I don’t want to say this is something we’re absolutely going to do, but I want to explore it,” Loree said. “You don’t want to sit here and not think about those things.”