Sheridan Moving Forward on Gallagher, Restaurant Plans

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Businessman Ryan Sheridan says he will move forward with plans to renovate the Gallagher Building downtown, whether or not the state of Ohio approves extending historic preservation tax credits associated with the project.

The owner and executive director of Braking Point Recovery Center in Austintown was the featured speaker at a meeting of the Downtown Youngstown Partnership held at the Main Library downtown.

Sheridan bought the Gallagher Building earlier this year from the Gatta Co., which had secured a $1.3 million Ohio historic preservation tax credit to support its renovation. He estimated the cost for renovating it for apartments, retail and restaurant use at about $4 million.

Sheridan reported he had just submitted materials – including documents from architects and engineers, two “solid” letters of intent from banks interested in financing the project and restaurants in leasing space – to state officials reviewing his request to have the deadline extended for moving forward on the project.

“Even if they don’t extend the tax credits, the project is moving forward,” he said. If the tax credits are approved, he would be bound to adhere to historic preservation standards, and has held discussions with local architects who focus on such work. And he would still need to finance about $2.4 million of the project.

If the tax credits aren’t extended, which his lenders say would require him to put up more equity for the project, Sheridan said he is “really going to get creative” with the project. He is looking at places where windows can be opened up and hallways can be narrowed to create more living space, he said.

“I sound more excited, honestly, if they say ‘no’ because it gives me more free rein,” he said. Not having to adhere to the historic preservation guidelines would mean less red tape, although he said his intent is to still preserve the look of the building.

The businessman admitted his first impression of the building was that it should be demolished, but when he walked inside and saw its potential, his imagination “went crazy.”

“The one good thing about that property is it doesn’t have to be gutted. There’s nothing in it. It’s all open space, open ceilings,” he remarked. “I think that’s why we’re going to be able to wrap up that project a lot faster than other buildings that have been renovated.”

Sheridan wants to be finished with the project by next spring.

Sheridan also said he would start taking bids from contractors next week for a restaurant he plans to open on the first floor of the Wick Building.

Bids will be due June 5 for The Cove, a restaurant with what he described as an “industrial coastal” theme. The restaurant will open in September, he said.

Members of the Downtown Youngstown Partnership also heard about progress on another restoration project, the conversion of the Stambaugh Building into a DoubleTree by Hilton hotel. Mike McGiffin, coordinator of downtown events and special projects, reported that drywall is being moved into the building.

“That means the electrical has been done, the plumbing has been done,” he said. Now contractors can begin putting up the walls on the structure that’s in place.

Anthony Trevena, director of the Northeast Ohio Development and Finance Authority, which helped arrange financing for the Stambaugh project, said a model room in the building is complete and awaiting approval by Hilton.

The rehabilitation of Wick Avenue also is moving along on schedule, McGiffin said. The pouring of the last sets of curbs by Madison Avenue should be complete in the next week or so, which is the final step before the gravel base and pavement are poured, he said.

“I’m hoping the road will be paved by mid-July,” he said. The entire project should be completed by September, when a ribbon cutting ceremony is planned.

“There will be dancing in the streets,” remarked Sharon Letson, executive director of Youngstown CityScape, a longtime proponent of the Wick project.

Other speakers included Deborah Liptak and Stuart Gibbs of the public library, First Ward Councilman Julius Oliver and Phil Kidd, associate director of Youngstown CityScape.

Among the topics Liptak addressed was the “Show Me Your Card” program, which allows library patrons to take advantage of discounts and other incentives from participating businesses. About a dozen businesses and nonprofit agencies are participating and the library is seeking additional partners, she said.

Gibbs briefly outlined various resources available to businesses at the library and on its website, including the ability to access articles from various journals.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.