Real Estate

City Panel OKs Design for Campus Lofts

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — The Youngstown Design Review Committee Tuesday morning approved a proposal to build a $12 million student housing complex near Youngstown State University.

Campus Lofts LLC already has started demolition of the former St. Vincent DePaul thrift store building on Wick Avenue and the adjacent Penguin Place building, where it plans to build the proposed four-story development. Campus Lofts purchased the two buildings from NYO Property Group in December for $1.025 million.

The site is catty-corner to the YSU Enclave and across from the Public Library of Youngstown & Mahoning County’s Main Library.

The student-housing complex will be in excess of 185 beds, a combination of four-, three- and two-bedroom units as well as some single-user lofts on the top floor, David Roose, project manager with Strollo Architects, Youngstown, told the committee. The ground floor will have an exercise room, a gathering space and leasing office, as well as an exterior and U-shaped courtyard.

The exterior will feature black masonry veneer wainscoting plus alternating panels of hardy siding and EFIS, or external insulation finish system, he said.

James Sabatine Jr., principal with Campus Lofts and owner of Trilogy Realty & Development in Canfield, said he hopes to begin construction in the next 45 days to have the property ready for the 2020 fall semester. “We’ve got to deliver,” he said.

Additionally, the committee approved requests by Common Wealth Inc. and Penguin City Brewing Co., and denied two requests by Fastsigns.

Common Wealth, a nonprofit community development organization that operates Cultivate Café and a kitchen incubator at 905 Elm St., received approval from the committee to install a loading dock. Materials will include poured-in concrete, concrete paving and chain-link fencing with a covering of privacy fabric mesh.

The loading dock is being installed at the tenants’ request, said Frank Rulli, senior associate at Faniro Architects. Cost of the new loading dock has not been finalized but is being estimated at between $60,000 and $100,000.

A planned expansion to accommodate growth of the incubator and Common Wealth’s farmers market has been put on hold, Rulli told the committee. Currently, Common Wealth doesn’t have the funds for it, but tenants said they would rather see the loading dock.

“The addition may or may not happen. It’s not totally off the board,” he told the committee.

The third proposal the committee approved was for a four-foot-by-eight-foot sign for Penguin City. The sign will be premium cast and vinyl lamination on aluminum composite material board, and will be placed about 10 feet from the brewery in the B&O Station, where Penguin City will begin brewing later this month, said co-owner, Aspasia Lyras.

Now brewed at Paladin Brewing in Austintown, Penguin City is now available in 200 Mahoning Valley locations. 

“It’s really taken off,” she said. “We’re hoping to just keep growing, expanding the distribution and just looking into doing canning and other styles of beer in the future.”     

The committee denied requests by Fastsigns, Boardman, for two Jimmy Johns advertising wallscapes that would have been hung for three months each on the Erie Terminal Building, 112 W. Commerce St., and 16 Wick Ave. 

The intent was to generate business at the Jimmy Johns location near the YSU campus, Fastsigns co-owner Kevin Sikora said. 

The committee in the past has been open to approving such signage to advertise a charity or a public event, committee member John DeFrance said as he recommended disapproving the request. 

“There’s no foundation anywhere for it in our signage, regulations,” he said. “This is the type of thing that we were actually formed to prevent.” 

Committee member Angelo Pignatelli questioned whether the city was going to start using the buildings for advertising businesses that aren’t located in the existing buildings.

“I can answer that question, and the answer is ‘no,’ ” DeFrance responded.

Pictured: Strollo Architects’ David Roose, project manager, and Kirk Kreuzwieser, project designer, presented the design for the Campus Lofts LLC student-housing complex at the Youngstown Design Review Committee meeting Tuesday morning. The committee approved the design.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.