By MARK C. PEYKO | Metro Monthly Editor
Representatives from the NYO Property Group and Hilton Hotels & Resorts last month announced plans to create downtown Youngstown’s first full-service hotel in nearly a generation. Supporters of the project said they see great potential for it contributing to ongoing revitalization efforts in the region.
The 16-month project, which is slated to be completed in 2016, will create a DoubleTree (Hilton-brand) hotel in the historic Stambaugh Building on Central Square in downtown Youngstown.
Plans for Stambaugh were unveiled during a Nov. 19 open house in the 17th floor conference room of First National Bank. Dominic J. Marchionda, NYO chief executive officer, introduced the project with Pan-Brothers Associates and Marshall Hotels and Resorts Inc.
“It’s vitally important to have a hotel in your central business district, in your downtown area,” said Linda Macala, executive director, Mahoning County Convention and Visitors Bureau. “One thing we’re very excited about is the meeting space that they plan to have in the hotel … It’s also a wonderful tie-in to Covelli.”
“Our market is the anchor institutions of Youngstown and the Valley. YSU academics and athletics, YBI, America Makes, courthouses, industrial parks and our beautiful convention center managed by JAC,” said Dominic C. Marchionda of NYO.
Although some aspects of the project are still being determined, the hotel is expected to include approximately 110 rooms. Plans also call for retail space and/or a restaurant on the first floor. Maryland-based Marshall Hotels and Resorts Inc. will manage the property.
The $25-million project is the joint effort of NYO Property Group and Pan Brothers Associates of New York City. The hotel project will utilize $9 million in state and federal historic preservation tax credits, which were secured last June.
The hotel project is good news for downtown Youngstown, which hasn’t seen a full-service hotel in the central business district since the mid-1970s. The projected market includes the general public, corporate travelers, and individuals and groups visiting Youngstown State University, the Youngstown Business Incubator and the Covelli Centre.
“The building offers lots of windows, lots of light. It’s in the center of town. It couldn’t be better located,” said George Pantelidis of Pan-Brothers Associates.
“What we found out is that the hotels that we operate that are like the Stambaugh Building that are located at the corner of Main and Main are outperforming,” said Scott McMahon, executive vice president of business development for Marshall Hotels and Resorts. “The reason being that travelers nowadays – whether they be corporate, transient or family – want to stay on the corner of Main and Main. They want to park their car and not get back in until they leave the next day.”
The Stambaugh Building dates from the heyday of downtown Youngstown. It was designed by Detroit architect Albert Kahn and was once the corporate headquarters of Youngstown Sheet and Tube. It is one of Youngstown’s earliest skyscrapers and was constructed in 1906 with a four-story addition in 1917. The 12-story neoclassical building has a white marble lobby, three passenger elevators and commanding views of downtown Youngstown. It has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1980.
When complete, the Stambaugh Building will join other NYO projects downtown, including Erie Terminal Place, the Realty Tower and the Wick Tower, which is scheduled to open in the fall of 2015.
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