City Seeks OK for Hotel Project Tax Break

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – As site preparation work begins to convert the Stambaugh Building downtown into a hotel, city council awaits action by the Youngstown Board of Education on a proposed 15-year, 100% tax abatement for the project.

NYO Property Group announced nearly two years ago its plans to convert the Stambaugh Building, 44 Federal Plaza East, into a DoubleTree by Hilton hotel. The value of the tax credit for the $25.75 million project would be about $300,000 annually, said T. Sharon Woodberry, director of community planning and economic development.

The request for the real property tax abatement, because it would eliminate the tax for improvements to the property for the term of the agreement, requires school board approval, but the school board did not take up the proposal at its most recent meeting.

The school board next meets Sept. 27.

There were “some discussions” about a school board meeting being set for Wednesday before the council meeting, Mayor John McNally said, but he wasn’t aware of anything being scheduled.

“We have communicated to [the school board] our time constraints and we expect to find out whether they are going to support or not support this before the council meeting,” Woodberry said.

If the city doesn’t have the support for the full abatement, the item will be removed from the agenda and a request for a 75% abatement, which does not require the school board’s approval, will be put before council at its next meeting, she said.

NYO has announced plans to open the hotel in late 2017.

Planning to restore the building’s terra cotta has been underway for months and the actual work will begin in the next few weeks, said Paul Hagman, president of RBF CoLab Architecture and Design. “The first step will be to clean the entire building, which should be complete this fall, followed by repairs to the damaged terra cotta units,” Hagman said.

Hagman’s firm is consulting on the historic preservation aspects of the project. The project has been approved for up to $9 million in federal and state historic preservation tax credits

Test panels will be installed over the next two weeks, Hagman said.

“This will let us see the finished product in limited areas so that we can verify the quality and acceptability of the work,” he said. “In addition, a single replacement window unit will be installed later this month so that we can ensure compatibility with the historic character of the structure. This will be a very visible upgrade to the building.”

The plan is to work from the top floor down so each of the building trades can sequentially complete their work, he said.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.