The demolition paperwork for crews to begin demolishing the Realty Building was filed with the county Friday afternoon.

But a group of concerned citizens aren't backing down in their efforts to save the historic structure. A few dozen community members rallied together Friday evening as demolition plans became clearer. 

"It seems like the final nail is in the coffin," said Derrick McDowell, Owner & Operator of the Youngstown Flea. 

The historic Realty Building celebrates 100 years this year. this passionate group of community members is fighting for the building's future.

"This is way more important than just saving a building or a structure," explained Councilman Julius Oliver, who once lived in the Realty Towers. "Because these are lives that are in this building."

Oliver was the only city official present at Friday's rally. 

The few dozen members present at the rally, marched from Penguin City Brewing Co. toward the Realty Building, posting a list of demands they wanted to see.

"You have right now residents that are displaced," explained Scott Schulick, Chairman of Youngstown CityScape Board of Directors. "The DoubleTree hotel is offline. You've got Eastern Gateway that's closed. If this building comes down, you have all those residents and potential business people that could repopulate a restored building."

Speakers noted how the community was able to save the Stambaugh Building and renovate it into the DoubleTree Hotel, repurposing a historic building.

The three demands listed on the signage along East Federal and South Champion Street read:

  1. Stabilize The Building Now! 
  2. Bring Building Owners Back To The Table.
  3. Work Together To Save Realty Tower.

"We are a city that just announced that we want to honor 5 of our champion boxers Thursday in a Walk of Fame," McDowell added. "It's a city that will tell you that we're fighters and if we don't learn how to fight together in these difficult moments, these are meant to teach us how to solve other difficult moments."

Rally organizers encourage decision-makers to rethink their decision, believing the building can be saved. This comes as the clock is ticking on demolition plans. 

"Many of us here hope that the Mayor along with the other parties involved will see the logic in pausing, coming back to the table, and finding a long-term solution because the economic future of downtown is at stake," Schulick added.

As the rally was getting ready to kick off, paperwork was filed on behalf of Yo Properties 47 LLC with the Mahoning County Building Department just before the deadline set by Mayor Tito Brown. Click here to learn more.