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The Rocket Review

The Rocket Review

Ray Carlson: The Man Fixing up the Façade of Lowellville


  In the early 1900s, Lowellville was a bustling village. It was the place to be with a jewelry store, a bank, and restaurants. However, as years passed, people began to stop moving to the area after the demand for people to work in steel mills decreased. This lowered the population which greatly impacted Lowellville’s economy, shutting down many businesses. For decades, these buildings sat vacant. Ray Carlson, a business owner in Lowellville, had an idea.

     Ray graduated from Canfield High School in 1980 and was able to graduate from Ohio Northern University College of Pharmacy in 1985. It all started in 1988 when Ray came to Lowellville and renovated a building along the Mahoning River to open his pharmacy. After a while, he closed his business and took a break from renovating. During this time, he met his wife Lori and was able to raise three children with her. About six years ago what started as a hobby became a lucrative business investment when he fixed up a few houses around the village. At the same time, he moved his business into the old bank in Lowellville which was built in the 1800s. Here, he was able to create an FDA-registered Outsourcing Facility for pharmaceuticals.  Although he moved his company into a bank, he was able to keep all the vaults and safes in the building and was even able to restore them.  Four years ago, he decided to renovate one of the few restaurants we have left in Lowellville, named Carchedi’s and put it back together. In some of his recent projects, he has turned some houses into Airbnbs. 

      After taking a small break, he is fixing up a new building. This building is the closest to where he started his journey, along the river, back in 1988. As of publication, he has finished the first floor of the three-story building and plans to continue up the building. On the first floor, a stage and dance floor can be found, along with a bar and a fully functional, industrial-sized kitchen. After finishing this project, he claims that it will be his final adventure. However, only time will tell if this is true or not. Regardless, Ray Carlson has put the first stepping stone in place for revitalizing and “rebirthing” the village of Lowellville as a whole. 

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Carlson’s coming soon to Lowellville!

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