NILES, Ohio (WKBN) — A long-vacant building in the heart of Struthers won’t be vacant much longer, as a local businessman recently purchased it and has plans of turning it into an event hall and boutique hotel.

Co-owner of Selah Restaurant Brian Palumbo has plans for the two-story building at 126 S. Bridge St. in downtown Struthers. He purchased the building, which is right next to the restaurant, a couple months ago.

Palumbo says he wants to preserve the building as much as possible.

“I don’t think it’s ever a good idea, when you’re trying to revive something, to just tear down all of your old buildings, you’ll never get something with that much character again,” says Palumbo.

He says the second floor, which is already subdivided into four apartments, will be converted into a six to eight bed boutique hotel, and its ground floor would become an event center.

His target customers include the families of baseball players who travel to Struthers for tournaments.

“It’s very inconvenient for them to go to Boardman while they’re staying. Now, I know we can’t provide lodging for a whole bunch of them, but at least it might make it a little easier for some of them,” says Palumbo.

The two-story building shares an alley with Selah Restaurant. Palumbo envisions installing a large doorway on the side of the building to open out onto the alley for an indoor/outdoor atmosphere.

“We have the idea, we’re in planning stages and clearing out stages so that we can just look at the building, see what we’re working with,” he says.

Palumbo has also bought another vacant building just a block away with three storefronts. He is still looking for a final tenant for that project.