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DoubleTree’s Developers Show Off Hotel to Press

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – A formal ribbon cutting is planned for May 30, but the developers of the new DoubleTree by Hilton Youngstown Downtown got a head start this morning by showing  off the hospitality property during a press preview.

Following a soft opening last night with Hilton representatives involved with the $32 million project staying overnight, the property is opening to the public today.

“It’s been a once in a lifetime opportunity. It’s been a labor of love,” said Steve Mitchell, the hotel’s general manager, before reporters “the results of all of the labor.”

“This is a big thing for us, and I hope it is for all of you,” said Dominic Marchionda, CEO of NYO Property Group, the developer of the project. The hotel represents “a new cornerstone” and will play a big role in the rebirth of Youngstown, he added.

“We could not be prouder this day has finally come,” Jacqueline Marchionda, designer with NYO and Marchionda’s wife.

NYO and its development partners converted the landmark Stambaugh building, which opened in 1907 and was the headquarters of the Youngstown Sheet and Tube Co., into the 125-room hotel.

“Many major steel decisions were made out of this building,” Jacqueline Marchionda noted.

The building, which she described as a “treasure,” had fallen into disrepair.

“We came into it with a vision and a hope and a lot of hard work to get this to where it is today,” she said. Having designed the interior, she said she hoped the public enjoys the hotel as much as she and the development team are proud of it.

“This has been a trying time for us. It has been a difficult task,” Dominic Marchionda, likely alluding to the legal difficulties he faces as well as the challenges of converting the historic building into a hotel.

Last year, Marchionda was charged in a 102-count indictment on charges related to his company’s use of city grant funds for other downtown and campus area projects.

Marchionda thanked everyone involved with construction, from builders to architects, as well as his development partners. Though there were “too many names to mention,” what visitors were going to see today “would not be possible without each and every one of them,” he said.

Without his partners from Pan-Brothers Associates Inc. in New York, Youngstown wouldn’t have its first hotel downtown in many years, he added.

“I am very, very happy and proud to stand on the corner of this building overlooking the plaza to say that we turned the lights back on in Youngtown,” George Panteldas, co-founder and principal of Pan-Brothers, said. “We believe in the rebirth of Youngstown and this is only the beginning.”

Pictured at top: Jackie and Dominic Marchionda with their partners in the development, George Pantelidis and David Rizzuto.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.