Signatures Ink Complex Financing for Downtown Hotel

WARREN, Ohio – Anthony Trevena was expecting several people to have writer’s cramp yesterday.

That’s because multiple documents needed to be signed to finalize the deal for the proposed DoubleTree by Hilton hotel in downtown Youngstown, Trevena said.

Trevena is director of the Northeast Ohio Development and Finance Authority, the economic development arm of the Western Reserve Port Authority, The port authority is providing $11.5 million in bond financing through a capital lease deal toward the $32 million project developed by NYO Property Group, a downtown Youngstown developer and landlord.

NYO formally announced two years ago its intentions to convert downtown Youngstown’s Stambaugh Building into a DoubleTree. Plans call for the hotel to open late next year.

“We’re celebrating giving writer’s cramp to several people,” Trevena remarked. Those individuals included WRPA board chairman Ron Klingle; John Moliterno, the port authority’s executive director; and Dominic Marchionda, NYO Property Group managing member.

“I think he’s going to have a really sore wrist after signing probably a thousand pieces of paper today,” he said.

“The complexity of the financing structure is unbelievable. There’s seven different layers,” said Marchionda, who was on his way to Cleveland to finish signing the paperwork for the deal. Components include the lead bank, First Commonwealth Bank; Chemical Bank; the city of Youngstown, which last week approved $2.75 million in financing for the project; and state and federal historic preservation tax credits totaling $9 million.

The transaction is expected to close Friday. “I can’t thank you enough for the creative minds and the support that the port authority has given this project,” Marchionda told the port authority’s board of directors at their monthly meeting Wednesday.

Putting together financing for the project was difficult, he acknowledged. “People still don’t view Youngstown as up and coming like it is,” he said. “There’s a lot of things happening here.”

Demand for space in the building is such that Marchionda said he would leave the first floor space for restaurant and retail tenants, and put the hotel check-in area on the second floor. A restaurant operator from the Cleveland-Akron area is among “a slew” of restaurateurs who have approached him about the first floor space, he reported.

Marchionda added that he spoke last week with a representative of an Akron area law firm interested in opening an office downtown. “There are some big players that are talking to us about collaborative deals and working together on some other projects,” he said.

“It’s great to hear a developer talking about, instead of seeking out people, people coming to lease space,” Trevena said. “That’s a game changer for our community.”

The project already is having an economic impact downtown, Marchionda reported. Demolition and abatement work is underway at the building, employing some 70 workers, and the owner of Joe Maxx Coffee Co. tells him those workers are in his shop every day for coffee.

“This is the residual impact that a lot of people don’t realize,” he said. “This is just the beginning.”

Trevena praised Marchionda and NYO for their efforts to preserve the Stambaugh Building.

“That’s huge,” he remarked. “The easiest thing in the world” would have been to demolish the building and build a new hotel on the site, or simply find another location, he noted.

“They maintained the integrity of our downtown,” he remarked.

Pictured: Rendering of hotel project.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.