$8M Renovation Planned for International Towers

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Work on an $8 million renovation of International Towers downtown should get underway by the end of the month, a representative of the building’s owner told the city’s Design Review Committee Tuesday.

The committee approved plans presented by Millennia Housing Management Ltd., Cleveland, for the exterior portion of the project, which will involve both exterior and interior work on the downtown tower, 25 Market St.

Millennia acquired the building — built in 1981 — in 2009 for $4.9 million. The 173-unit tower houses disabled and elderly residents.

“It’s a mix that serves a need in Youngstown for affordable housing. What it lacks is amenities that cater toward the needs of that resident profile,” said Matthew Solomon, director of design and construction for Millennia.

The project will include improvements to make the building more aesthetically pleasing and enhance the site by incorporating “social service needs and other things” for the residents that are “severely lacking” at the property, Solomon said.

One of the major upgrades will be replacement of the building’s mechanical system with a variable refrigerant flow system. In conjunction with installing double-paned and insulated windows, this will provide heating and cooling in a much more cost-efficient manner, he said.

Now the building is “peppered with” through-window air conditioning units that drip on the plaza. “There’s a lot of unsightly conditions,” Solomon said.

Exterior improvements will include expansion of the main entry vestibule to double its current size, and cleaning and caulking of the building’s outside masonry. The plaza in front of the building will get new landscaping, permeable pavers to reduce stormwater runoff, and amenities for bicycle use, including a new bicycle shelter. The parking lot behind the building also will be redone.

Interior improvements will include new fixtures and lighting in rooms and space to accommodate social services programs.

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The committee approved the exterior work but requested that Millennia return with plans for surface lighting in the plaza, “sedge” shrubs at the bio-retention areas and awning colors for the commercial tenant spaces.

“Seeing a significant reinvestment in the central area downtown is always good,” said Bill D’Avignon, Community Development Agency director and chairman of the committee. Combining the International Towers upgrade with the Stambaugh Building hotel project nearby “seems to magnify this reinvestment and revitalization of downtown,” he added.

Work will be performed by Millennia’s related construction company, American Preservation Builders, Solomon said. Roof work is expected to get underway in about two weeks. The project should be completed before Thanksgiving 2017.

Pictured at top: Matthew Solomon, director of design and construction for Millennia Housing Management, presents renovation plans to the city’s Design Review Committee.

Copyright 2020 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.