Design Review Panel OKs Valet Area for Hotel

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Developers of the DoubleTree by Hilton hotel will need further approvals from the city before they can move forward on a valet drop-off lane, loading and unloading zone and landscaping in front of the property.

The city’s Design Review Committee approved a conceptual design for the space in front of the Stambaugh Building, which is under renovation. The work will include installation of a drive running south to north in front of the hotel, plants and landscaping on the property.

Anissa Neider, an architect with MS Consultants Inc., Youngstown, told members of the committee that a restaurant is planned for the space formerly occupied by Buffalo Wild Wings years ago and Warehouse 50 more recently. It will feature an outdoor patio, “secured obviously for alcohol consumption,” she said.

Proposed for the southwest portion of the building are two more tenants, a coffee shop and a small plates restaurant, she added.

The plantings, fence, patio, pottery, walkway and irrigation system will cost about $75,000, said Jay Gresh, landscape designer. A fall start is planned for the plantings, he told the committee.

The overall cost for what was proposed Tuesday is $200,000, Neider said. NYO Property Group, which is redeveloping the building, would maintain the property and its landscaping, Gresh said.

The space, which is about 11,400 square feet, is on right-of-way controlled by the city, said Bill D’Avignon, deputy director of planning and strategic development for the city and chairman of the committee. NYO will have to either get a license agreement approved by the city’s Board of Control or request that City Council vacate the right-of way.

“There’s really no reason not to vacate the right-of-way if we wanted to,” said Chuck Shasho, deputy director of public works and a member of the committee.

A landscaped island at the front of the property would feature the DoubleTree sign, boxwood hedge and lawn space at either end, as well as flagpoles with the U.S., Hilton and Youngstown’s “City of You” flags.

While they approved the concept, the committee requested that the architect come back with a design that moved the DoubleTree sign back from the space proposed, in the space that would need to be maintained as a public sidewalk right-of-way. The committee also requested a sign smaller than the one proposed by DoubleTree.

Because of historic preservation requirements attached to the $32.1 million projects, signs can’t be mounted on the building itself, Neider said.

The hotel is slated to open in 2018.

“Overall the project is going really well,” with “significant progress” made on the building’s interior and shell, Neider said.

Hilton has completed its initial review of the model room, she added. “We are moving forward with making a few revisions and then moving forward with the rest of the guest room finishes,” she said.

The committee also approved a location for a shipping container bus shelter at the northwest corner of Wick Avenue and East Federal Street, adjacent to the Chase Bank Building.

The committee had approved the project at its February meeting but asked Tony Armeni, one of its designers, to find an alternative location to the proposed site in front of the Mahoning County Courthouse.

The shelter is one of five community art projects being funded through a $100,000 grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Arts through its Innovative Plan for Leveraging Arts Through Community Engagement – or Inplace — program.

Copyright 2023 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.