Sabatine Signs Over Legal Arts as Campus Lofts Project Advances

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — YO Properties 101 LLC closed on its purchase of Legal Arts Centre building at 101 Market St. downtown for $400,000.

In July, Dominic Marchionda, managing partner of NYO Property Group, said the building was under contract with a group headed by developer James Sabatine Jr., owner of Trilogy Realty & Development in Canfield.

Sabatine confirmed Friday morning that he ended up signing the contract to a friend of his, who closed on it. He declined to identify the new owner.

“He wanted it more than we did,” said Sabatine, adding that the new owner owns a construction company. “The building needs a lot of work. It made good sense for him. You need to put your heart and soul into that building to make it right.”

In January, Campus Lofts LLC, of which Sabatine is a principal, purchased the former St. Vincent de Paul building on the corner of Wick and Rayen avenues for $512,000, as well as the neighboring Penguin Place on North Champion St. Both buildings have been razed and construction has begun on the forthcoming Campus Lofts student housing project.

The $12 million project is taking shape with the framing now visible. “This weather has been awesome,” allowing the project to move along ahead of schedule, Sabatine said. The concrete is almost completely poured and the elevator shafts and stairwells have been built. Crews look to start work on the second floor of the four-story project “very soon,” he said.

“We started the project ahead of schedule so we could finish it ahead of schedule,” Sabatine said. “We had a rocky start to the summer with that rain we had,” but dry weather throughout the last few months have helped, he said.

Construction of the Campus Lofts student housing project is ahead of schedule, said James Sabatine.

In May, the city’s Design Review Committee approved the design proposal for Campus Lofts, which will be catty-corner to the YSU Enclave and across Rayen Avenue from the Public Library of Youngstown & Mahoning County’s Main Library. It will feature more than 185 beds with a combination of four-, three- and two-bedroom units as well as some single-user lofts on the top floor, David Roose, project manager with Strollo Architects, Youngstown, told the committee. The ground floor will have an exercise room, a gathering space and leasing office, as well as an exterior and U-shaped courtyard.

Sabatine expects the property to be ready in time for the 2020 fall semester.

Strollo is the project’s architect and GreenHeart Companies LLC is general contractor, Sabatine said. Most of the contractors are local, including Anchor Plumbing & Drain Service, Santon Electric Co. Inc. and York Mahoning Mechanical Contractor.

Other projects on Sabatine’s plate include a new Starbucks cafe slated for Liberty Township off Interstate 80 near the Metroplex Expo Center and Speedway gas station on Belmont Avenue. Construction should begin this fall, he said. “I assume it will be open by late spring,” he said.

The cafe will feature a “new prototype design,” with a modern store and drive-thru, he added.

“[Starbucks] likes being close to a freeway where there’s also a community,” he said.

Sabatine also looks to break ground on the second phase of the Boardman plaza where CoreLife Eatery opened in May, he noted.

Legal Arts has sat vacant for more than 15 years since Marchionda purchased the property in late 2012 for $175,000. Last year, Marchionda, along with former mayor Charles Sammarone and former finance director David Bozanich, were indicted on 101 counts of corruption charges. The three defendants have pleaded not guilty.

In April, Morgan Stanley Bank filed papers with the Mahoning County Common Pleas Court to foreclose on The Flats At Wick LLC, a student-housing complex developed in 2012 by Marchionda. The filing alleged The Flats At Wick was in default of a $5.55 million loan it secured through the bank in December 2012.

Copyright 2021 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.