By Samantha Phillips
As downtown Youngstown grows and the number of visitors increases, many say a hotel is needed to accommodate people who are staying overnight.
After two years of planning, NYO Property Group is developing a 134-room hotel that will inhabit the Stambaugh Building, near the corner of Wick Avenue and Commerce Street.
Dominic Marchionda, CEO of NYO Property Group, said there is a need for a hotel in the area.
“It’s going to be full service hotel with a couple of restaurants, a rooftop bar for tenants only, exercise facility [and] conference rooms and suites,” he said.
Construction should be complete by December 2017, and they expect to begin booking rooms in early 2018.
Marchionda said the idea stemmed from the growth of downtown business. Currently, people have to drive to nearby cities such as Boardman and Liberty to find a hotel. Having a hotel in Youngstown would keep them in the city longer.
The Stambaugh Building is currently being renovated. NYO Property Group has previously restored Wick Tower and Erie Terminal Place for residential use.
Kelly Persin, NYO property manager, said the hotel will benefit a wide range of people, from fans who attend sporting events and concerts at the Covelli Centre to business professionals visiting the Youngstown Business Incubator.
People coming to Youngstown State University for football games or to deliver lectures will have a place to stay in town, and Persin said families of students will benefit as well.
According to Marchionda, they will offer discounts for parents of YSU students who visit during the week.
NYO intends on having three or four interns at the hotel throughout the year training for roles in management and hospitality, Marchionda said. NYO hires locally and has five YSU students currently working for the company.
YSU student O’Keal Gist has been a marketing intern for two years, which is when planning for the hotel began.
“It’s really cool seeing NYO’s vision come to life,” he said. “A lot of time and energy was put into this project. It’s going to help make the city more vibrant. It’s been an honor being a part of this.”
Marchionda said it’s their goal to help student interns find a long-term job after graduation. He said he would like to see people stay in the Mahoning Valley.
“A lot of students have a great work ethic. They’re really engaged and creative and articulate,” he said. “It’s advantageous to them. We believe in our community.”
The hotel isn’t the only big change that is being implemented by NYO Property Group. A city perks program allows tenants of student housing to obtain discounts at local bars, restaurants and the potential new grocery store to give them an incentive to visit downtown businesses.
“All downtown businesses are connected. We have to work together to create a more vibrant community,” he said.
Services like grocery pick-up and delivery will be provided to help students, who may not have time to run errands, while they are balancing work and school.
With the University Edge and the upcoming Enclave creating competition in the student housing market, Marchionda said NYO will lower its prices to compete.
“We are going to be one of the most aggressively priced units,” he said “Prices will be lower than they ever have been, because there is more competition.”