Real Estate

Legal Arts Building Under Purchase Contract

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Developer Dominic Marchionda says a sale of the Legal Arts Centre building at 101 Market St. downtown should be completed within the next 60 days.

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

“At this point, he’s signed an agreement to purchase it,” Marchionda said. “It’s good to see, good to get new investment down here.”

Marchionda said he purchased Legal Arts in late 2012 for $175,000 mostly as an investment opportunity. The building – vacant now for more than 15 years – is located directly across from the Mahoning County Courthouse and had potential for redevelopment.

Yet other projects – such as the Flats at Wick, the Erie Terminal, The Wick Tower and the DoubleTree by Hilton Youngstown Downtown – took precedent and Legal Arts was placed on the back burner.

“Everything is for sale at the right opportunity at the right price,” Marchionda said. 

Legal Arts Centre at 101 Market St. downtown Youngstown.

Sabatine confirmed via email that he’s in the process of buying the building, but declined to disclose what his intentions are for the structure.

Legal Arts would be the second building Marchionda has sold to a group headed by Sabatine. 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. That building has since been razed to make way for new student housing, expected to be completed by the summer of 2020.

Sabatine also purchased and razed the neighboring Penguin Place on North Champion St. to make room for the project. 

Marchionda added there is one other building he has under contract with a prospective buyer, but said he could not disclose details of that potential transaction. He said there were a couple other buildings he would consider selling.

The contract price for the Legal Arts Building was not disclosed.

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.

“Our buildings are doing very well right now,” Marchionda said, emphasizing the success of the hotel, Wick and Erie Terminal projects.  

According to NYO Property Group’s website, The Legal Arts Centre was constructed in 1965 for $2 million by Stephen Baytos to serve as professional offices for law firms. The ground floor for years was home to the Hub Coffee House and the last tenant moved out of the building in 2004.

The building has seen better days. Weeds choke the entrance to an attached parking garage, while paint is chipped across the entire structure’s exterior. The ground floor where The Hub once operated is entirely gutted.

Still, the Legal Arts Centre building – a landmark because of its unusual design and color scheme – could make a great reinvestment opportunity, Marchionda said.

“It’s got about 30,000 square feet and about 40 parking spots,” he said. “It could be mixed use — office space, commercial or possibly residential – there’s a lot of potential there.”

Copyright 2019 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.