Huntington Plans Return to Mahoning Building After Renovation

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Huntington National Bank has reversed its plan to permanently vacate its space in downtown’s Mahoning Building and will instead reopen it in the spring following a renovation, bank executives confirmed Friday.

Last month, Huntington, which earlier this year acquired TCF Bank, consolidated its downtown operations into TCF’s space in the Stambaugh building, which houses the DoubleTree by Hilton hotel.

A Huntington ATM was removed from the building’s lobby and the bank’s logo removed from the facades facing onto Market Street and West Federal Street. Vinyl stickers appeared on both building entrances stating the branch was closed “temporarily” as of Oct. 27 and would reopen in the spring.

“It’s getting remodeled and our colleagues will return upon renovation completion,” Emily Smith, Huntington’s vice president of media relations, said in an email.

Contacted in August when a sign company sought permission from Youngstown’s Design Review Committee to replace TCF’s non-illuminated sign at 44 E. Federal St. with a similar Huntington sign and make other changes, Smith said Huntington was consolidating the two branches, which overlapped in their service to the downtown Youngstown market, into the TCF space.

She also said Huntington was putting the Mahoning Building up for sale.

Plans to sell the building are still in the works, but the Columbus-based bank plans to renovate and occupy about 3,000 square feet of space in the Mahoning Building, said Bill Shivers, Canton/Mahoning Valley regional president.

The decision to return to the building where Huntington and its predecessors, including Mahoning National Bank, had operated since the 1870s, followed input from community leaders and downtown business owners. Tenants of the building also told Huntington officials that it would be good if the bank maintained its downtown branch in the space, Shivers reported.

Some were displeased by the size of the branch at the new location, and others said crossing Market Street “created some issues with some of the local businesses,” he said.

“So I made some calls and we decided that we were going to renovate approximately 3,000 square feet in the existing branch, and that will be opened up when that is finished,” he said.

Details are not final on what the renovations will entail, and Shivers declined to say how much the renovation would cost.

Although the regional market president said he is unaware of any parties expressing interest in purchasing the building, he noted that potential tenants have inquired about occupying ground-floor space that might be available after the renovation.

In the meantime, Huntington plans to restore an ATM to the Mahoning Building lobby by Nov. 15, Shivers said.

Among those pleased to learn of Huntington’s plans to return to the Mahoning Building is Jack Colucci, who has operated Mahoning Snacks in the building’s lobby since 2007.

Business at his shop has dropped “a lot” since the branch closed and other tenants have complained about the branch relocation.

“It was convenient. It was right in the building,” he said.

Colucci noted that many of his customers also complained about the size of the relocated Huntington branch.

Shivers emphasized that he is pleased the bank is able to change course.

“I was thrilled that we had the opportunity and enough time to pivot or change direction to say we were going to go back into that branch and renovate it,” he said.

Pictured at top: Huntington removed its signs from the building in October.

Copyright 2021 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.