Racino opening brings development speculation - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Racino opening brings development speculation

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From the main entrance of the Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course, "For Sale" signs are visible everywhere.

Moon Park owns a plaza on 3.2 acres directly across from the state Route 46 entrance.

"I'm getting phone calls and even yesterday, people came to me, they want to buy this property," said Park.

Park feels the former plaza is the ideal location for new business and he's received inquires from as far away as Texas.

"Even New York, New Jersey, and Atlanta, they want to open a supermarket or other businesses," said Park.

While several parcels along Route 46 already are zoned commercial, the zoning inspector said several homeowners are asking to have their land rezoned from residential to business.

"And the reason for doing it, they just want to see what the market is considering the new racino coming in," said Darren Crivelli, Austintown Township Zoning Inspector.

The four properties are just north of Norquest Boulevard, about a half mile from the racino. Homeowner Chris Morris said he believes the landscape of Route 46 is going to change much like Route 224 in Boardman.

"We're just getting prepared, just in case things start building up, I think it will be rezoned. It's going to bring in business," said Morris.

The zoning inspector is not surprised by the zone change requests and anticipates there may be more.

"I wouldn't be surprised if we see some requests across the street and heading north towards the racino, there's a lot of interest in that area," said Crivelli.

Not everyone is excited about the opening. One racino neighbor, Brierfield Assisted Living, has filed an appeal against a permit allowing outdoor concerts at the racetrack. They are concerned about the sound levels. The appeal will be heard in common pleas court.

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