City Looks to Finalize Aid for Hotel Project

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The city is still finalizing details of a development package to assist NYO Property Group’s conversion of the Stambaugh Building into a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, community and economic development director T. Sharon Woodberry said Wednesday.

The city is requesting a 100% tax abatement for the project, which requires approval from the Youngstown City Schools. NYO principal Dominic J. Marchionda has indicated he is ready to move forward with the project once all incentives are in place.

“He’s gotten his funding sources lined up. He just needs to have the city’s commitment to determine if it’s moving forward or not,” Woodberry said.

The value of the tax credit would be in the range of $300,000 annually for the 15-year term of the abatement, Woodberry said.

The development agreement, which also would require approval by City Council, would also include a water and wastewater grant although how much is not determined yet, she said. City Council holds its first scheduled meeting following its summer recess Sept. 21.

“This appears to be the last component of it, so if we get the development agreement approved and finalized by Council [NYO expects] to be ready to move forward with the renovation,” Woodberry said. NYO is looking at a November 2017 completion date. The $25.7 million project is eligible for $9 million in federal and state historic preservation tax credits.

In November 2014, NYO publicly announced plans to convert the building into a DoubleTree, with plans to open later this year.

Last month, the city’s Design Review Committee approved NYO’s plans to restore the building’s terra cotta and replace 500 windows.

NYO doesn’t plan to seek funds from the city’s float loan program for the project, Woodberry said.

The developer is planning to move forward without relying on Property-Assessed Clean Energy – or PACE – financing. NYO had been working with the Northeast Ohio Development and Finance Authority – the economic development arm of the Western Reserve Port Authority – on PACE financing but council members did not act in May on a request to create an energy special improvement district downtown.

In April, the port authority approved issuing the bonds in partnership with the Development Finance Authority of Summit County and entering into a capital lease structure with NYO.

Woodberry said she isn’t prepared to put the PACE request back before council and it is back in the hands of legal counsel. Unless specific issues can be worked out, the intent is to move forward without the PACE financing, although it might no be completely off the table, she said.

“Anything that can provide additional resources to this is jgoing to make this a stronger deal,” she said.

Representatives of NYO and the port authority did not respond to requests for comment.

Pictured: Rendering of the project with the building fully lit at night.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.