NYO Publicly Unveils Wick Tower Apartments

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Looking back at the first day of construction on Wick Tower, all the way back in the summer of 2013, Dominic J. Marchionda says he never imagined the reception of the company’s newest apartment building would be as good as it turned out to be.

People – students and young professionals, specifically – wanted to be in downtown Youngstown. He knew that much. It could be seen at Erie Terminal Place, where the waiting list for tenants is beyond what he ever imagined.

“There’s no question in my mind [that people want to live downtown]. To think that here, we’ve been open two short months and are already half full, it shows what the demand is,” he said Monday afternoon at the apartment building’s ribbon cutting.

The $16.5 million project kept almost all of the architectural features of the building, constructed in 1906 by Youngstown Sheet and Tube founder George Dennick Wick.

“They’re modernized apartments where we kept the integrity and historical aspects. We kept the high ceilings where we could, the windows where we could, the corridors, the marble, the crown molding,” Marchionda explained.

The building features one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, as well as one-room extended stay hotel rooms on the second and third floors.

Over the years, the building has served many purposes, including a nightclub, an office for the street crimes division of the Youngstown Police Department and the offices of what had been the Youngstown Area Chamber of Commerce, now the Youngstown Warren Regional Chamber, according to Jackie Marchionda, interior designer and space planner for NYO.

Before NYO purchased the building, it had been vacant for or a year or so and had fallen into disrepair. That, Dominic Marchionda said, is what made the project special to him.

“When you take a building like this that was on the edge of demolition and see it come back to life, with people walking in, appreciating the architecture and design and the fruits of our labor, it’s rewarding,” he said.

The speakers at the ribbon cutting all praised the apartments as the next step forward for downtown Youngstown.

“Whether you live in Mahoning County, Columbiana County, Trumbull County, Niles or Warren, you need a strong downtown Youngstown in the heart of our region for everyone else to be successful,” said U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-13 Ohio. “You need an area where young people want to come, an area that’s tied to university doing cutting-edge research, an area where people can live.”

Mayor John McNally, following Marchionda’s story of how he saw the perception of the city and downtown shift over the years, said that image of a dirty, unsafe area has been defeated.

“Anytime you’re in downtown Youngstown either to work, for the nightlife, to get a cookie or go to a concert, remember that this is all about a momentum. This momentum will not stop with this project,” he said. “It will continue with Wells Building, with the hotel, with the amphitheater, with the cleanup of downtown. The word for today is no longer ‘perception.’ We’ve beaten that back. It’s all about momentum.”

Across the state, said Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor, towns are turning toward downtown areas to lead the revitalization process and Youngstown is no different.

“I’m hearing more and more from citizens about the need for downtown housing. With young folks moving back to those areas and the revitalization that’s taking place, people are demanding to live downtown,” she said. “The Wick Tower is great news for the city of Youngstown and just one more example of the revitalization of this area.”

The state’s historic building tax credit was a large part of the funding, Dominic Marchionda said at the ribbon cutting. Taylor said the credit has been well received by investors who are looking to renovate buildings in downtown areas.

“I’ve seen it twice in northeastern Ohio, so I know there’s value in these historic credits, which also allow us to preserve the stories that are so important to each of us when we’ve grown up in a community that means so much to us,” she said.

The next project for NYO will be the Doubletree by Hilton hotel in the Stambaugh Building. Announced last November, NYO initially said construction would begin in June and the hotel would open in 2017. The project is wrapping up the financing stages, Marchionda said.

“Our next focus and our main focus is going to be on the hotel,” he said. “It will happen. There have been rumors that it won’t, but anyone who knows me knows it will happen.”

Some tenants are also interested the Legal Arts Building, though there’s nothing concrete yet and renovations are still in progress. NYO is currently “in the process of evaluating how to best utilize it,” according to Marchionda.

Even with the work done by NYO – Erie Terminal Place, First National Tower, Realty Tower and the Stambaugh Building are among their downtown portfolio – Marchionda noted that it’s not a one-man or one-company job.

“We’re one company, but every day I look around and see another player in the market,” he said. “There are things happening here and it’s exciting to see. There are a lot more players here than people realize.”

Pictured are U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan; Youngstown-Warren Regional Chamber President Tom Humphries; George Pantelidis, principal, Pan-Brothers Associates; Jim Pantelidis, principal, Pan-Brothers Associates; Jackie Marchionda, interior designer and space planner, NYO Property Group; Dominic J. Marchionda, co-owner, NYO; Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor; Mayor John McNally; and Ryan Burgess, assistant director, Ohio Development Services Agency.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.