YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The future of two of downtown Youngstown’s most historic buildings is looking good after Wednesday night’s city council meeting.
Council approved $75,000 to rehire Steadfast City — the consultants helping with the renovation of the former Strouss’ building, now known as 20 Federal Place. It also extended a loan for the DoubleTree Hotel.
The owners of the DoubleTree Hotel borrowed $700,000 from the city to renovate the former Stambaugh building. But after city council’s 5-1 vote, with interest, it’ll now be $1.1 million paid over 25 years.
“We would have maybe preferred not to have had to extend the loan but we have to pick what is the better of the two, and it would have been tragic if the hotel were to leave,” said 7th Ward Councilwoman Basia Adamczak.
Third Ward Councilwoman Samantha Turner was the only one to vote against the loan extension.
“When we have developers coming into our city, we can’t afford for them not to do what they’re supposed to do,” Turner said.
The ordinance needed six votes to take effect immediately. Now, it’ll take 30 days. Youngstown Mayor Tito Brown says the DoubleTree owners are OK with that.
“Everybody’s moving in the right direction. I think they’re happy. They understood that this was still on the table and moving in the right direction,” Brown said.
Concerning 20 Federal Place, council also learned that demolition and asbestos removal begins on April 17. After which, the city will seek developers to renovate the building and take it over. Previous plans to turn the building into apartments and office space have fallen through.
“It may be optimistic for us to be in a position to be able to go back and remarket this building and have additional redevelopers come back and suggest potentially entering into an agreement with the city,” said Youngstown finance director Kyle Miasek.
Miasek says the city applied — or will apply — for $23 million in historic tax credits and grants, which it was previously denied.
“The likelihood of us not being successful is very minuscule because we were told by the state that we were nearly chosen and they suggested that we reapply,” Miasek said.
Council also approved hiring a city planner at $76,000 a year — a position that has not been filled in Youngtown in 11 years.