Private investors are coming back to downtown Youngstown with plans to give old buildings new life. 

The long-vacant Commonwealth Title building on North Phelps Street has been sold, and investors have new plans for it.
"It's going to be a Gringo's Taco Tequila Bar," said investor Ken Viorito.

He says plans call for the 6,000 square foot building to be remodeled while also preserving some of its original charms, including a huge wall safe that they hope to find the combination for. Being a couple of blocks from the new amphitheater is also a plus. 

"You go right down Phelps, right to the amp. Then come right up here for some food and drinks," Vigorito said.

The new amphitheater is attracting another new restaurant and bar to be called Tavern 208 on West Front Street.

"The building is across the street from the outdoor amphitheater, so I think the restaurant will compliment each other when we get it open,"  said Earl Winner who purchased the building. 

Both projects were approved Tuesday by the Youngstown Design Review Committee. The committee also approved the proposal that will eventually turn a section of North Phelps Street into a pedestrian-only streetscape. The foot traffic only project has been compared to 4th Street in Cleveland.  

The design review committee says these new projects are a positive sign for the city.
"It's probably one of the busiest agenda's I've seen on the committee in a long time. It's just great to see so much private investment in the central business district," said Chuck Shasho, Deputy Director of Public Works.

Gringo's hopes to open early next spring, while Winner is planning to have Tavern 208 open this year. Work on the Phleps Street streetscape is scheduled to begin after the holidays and be completed early next year.