WARREN, Ohio – The director of economic development for the Western Reserve Port Authority says that a tour Monday of the Stambaugh DoubleTree hotel project in downtown Youngstown shows that work is progressing at a steady clip as the project nudges closer to its opening, sometime in the first quarter of 2018.
“We walked through every room, hallways, and floors top to bottom,” Anthony Trevena told the WRPA’s economic development committee Wednesday.
He said that recent reports that claim the project is 60% complete are not exaggerated, and he wouldn’t be surprised if the rooms are certified for occupancy by late December.
“I’m not an engineer or an architect, but I’d say that’s pretty accurate,” Trevena told the committee.
The WRPA helped the $32 million project through $11.5 million in bond financing.
NYO Property Group of Youngstown is developing the project. NYO’s CEO, Dominic Marchionda, was indicted Oct. 3 on 102 counts of money laundering, theft, aggravated theft, money laundering and telecommunications fraud. The charges are related to three projects the developer completed in Youngstown that was funded in part with city loans and grants, which the state alleges Marchionda misappropriated for his personal use.
The Stambaugh project is not within the scope of the indictment, according to documents.
Trevena said he couldn’t comment on the legal issues involving the developer, but did report to the committee that the Stambaugh project is moving forward without any disruptions as far as he could determine.
Trevena told the committee that the low voltage installation and work, as well as the plaster, is complete on floors three to 11, while floors two through 12 are framed and the mechanicals are completed. On floors five through 11, the ceramic, paint, wall cover and the trim are complete.
“The last set of windows are going in on the second floor,” Trevena said. The room doors are delivered and are being installed this week on the 11th floor, he reported.
Drywall still needs to be installed on the 12th and second floors, since these areas are awaiting inspection, he noted. Within the next three weeks, construction will start on replacing the fire escape.
“It’s really beautiful,” Trevena said of the project and the landmark Stambaugh Building. “It’s got great views” overlooking downtown.
Trevena also reported to the committee that it has reached a purchase agreement with NYO Property Group regarding the acquisition of the Harshman Building, 101 E. Boardman St. in downtown Youngstown. As of Wednesday morning’s meeting, the agreement had not been signed by NYO.
In August, the WRPA authorized spending up to $675,000 to purchase and renovate the building. About 3,000 square feet of the 14,000-square-foot building will be used for offices for the WRPA, while the rest will be renovated to accommodate office and classroom space for Eastern Gateway Community College, the building’s anchor tenant. Trevena said the WRPA would explore additional financing options from the city, including a bridge loan or a wastewater infrastructure grant.
“The design currently would be five classrooms and seven offices,” Trevena said.
Sarah Lown, the WRPA’s public finance manager, reported to the committee that the Port Authority is actively seeking a new tenant for a 6,000-square-foot building at the Castlo Industrial Park in Struthers. The building will be available in February once its tenant, Aqua Ohio, consolidates operations in a new 14,300-square-foot building on the Castlo campus.
Since the Port Authority assumed management operations at the park last year, Lown reported that the agency has successfully renewed several long-term leases that enable stability for the next five years. “When you’re stable, you can grow. So, we’re very happy.”
As for new tenants, Lown said the Port Authority is looking at “a couple of prospects” that might be interested in developing at the park.
Copyright 2017 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio. Dan O’Brien