Youngstown Loans $2 Million for Wick Tower Project

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -- NYO Property Group’s conversion of the Wick Building downtown into an apartment/extended stay property received city assistance Tuesday with approval of a development agreement that incentivizes completing the project this year.

At a special meeting Tuesday morning, the city Board of Control approved the agreement, which provides a $2.3 million loan for the $16.5 million project. Under the terms of the loan agreement, NYO has two years to repay the money, which will be repaid out of the state historic tax credit it was awarded for the project, said David Bozanich, city finance director.

NYO, which also redeveloped the Erie Terminal Building downtown, is converting the building into 32 units, a mix of apartments and extended stay properties. The company’s website cites a spring/summer 2015 grand opening for Wick Tower, while a link to the tower’s page lists a January 2015 grand opening.

NYO’s chief executive, Dominic J. Marchionda, could not be reached for comment.

If NYO is able to complete the project this year and receive certification from the U.S. Department of Park Services that the work complies with historic preservation guidelines, the company will be able to apply for the refundable credit on its taxes for this year and would likely receive the refund inext June or July, Bozanich said. Those funds then would be used to repay the city loan.

“In the document, we put up to two years to repay the loan so if there is a significant delay on the construction side we don’t have to go back and redo all the documents,” he said. “However, our financing costs at 3% interest are relatively high financing costs to the project as a whole in terms of short-term money. So the developer has an interest in paying the city off earlier rather than later.”

The city is also providing a $500,000 water/wastewater grant and a 12-year, 100% abatement on real property taxes for improvements to the building, said T. Sharon Woodberry, city economic development director.

“We’re very happy we got to this point,” said Mayor John McNally, who with Bozanich and Law Director Martin Hume sits on the Board of Control. “We look forward to additional projects down the road in downtown Youngstown that hopefully will take place with the city’s assistance as well.”

NYO also plans to redevelop the Stambaugh Building as a 120-room hotel. Historic preservation tax credits were awarded for that project in June.   

Copyright 2014 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.
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