Downtown Hotel Project Begins with Terra Cotta Work

Pictured: Architect Paul Hagman shows plans for the conversion of the Stambaugh Building into a DoubleTree by Hilton hotel.

Downtown Hotel Project Begins with Terra Cotta Work

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The DoubleTree by Hilton hotel downtown, planned for the Stambaugh Building downtown, should to be complete in late 2017, an architect affiliated with the project said Tuesday.

Paul Hagman, president of RBF CoLab Architecture and Design, joined by Annissa Neider, an architect with MS Consultants Inc., attended yesterday’s meeting of the city Design Review Committee, which approved Hagman’s proposal to restore the terra cotta on the building and replace its more than 500 windows.

The work will make the building “look like a cleaner, better version of what it is right now,” Hagman said.

MS Consultants is the architect of record on converting the Stambaugh Building into a 133-room hotel, while RBF is consulting on the historic preservation aspect of the project. The project, first announced in 2014, has received more than $9 million in federal and state historic preservation tax credits. The building is owned by NYO Property Group.

The goal is to complete the hotel by late 2017, Hagman said, a construction schedule he allows is aggressive. Contractors went inside the building late last week to begin clearing the structure and removing the nonhistoric elements, he reported. Bids are going out now for the terra cotta and window packages.

“The terra cotta work by its nature will take a long time,” he said. “The first stage will be to clean everything and remove and record the broken and missing pieces. It could be months to get those new pieces back in place.” The work likely will run throughout construction.

Interior renovation likely won’t get underway until late fall or early winter by the time Hilton reviews everything, Neider said. Contractors must construct a room mock-up that Hilton will need to approve before work can begin on the remaining rooms.

“We have to go through three different review phases with Hilton,” she said.

Coming up with a standard room for the building offers the biggest challenge.

“DoubleTree likes everything to be kind of uniform,” Neider said. “With the different configurations of the floors and the corridors that we have to maintain, we’re getting a lot of different variations of room, so keeping that all intact while trying to meet the DoubleTree standards is probably the most difficult portion of this project.”

The design review committee approved a request by Strollo Architects to demolish the rear of the First Educators Investment Corp. building, 147 W. Federal St., and add new wooden stairs to the rear of the property. The space is unoccupied and has maintenance issues, said Anita Gallo, an architect with Strollo.

The company needs approval from Mahoning County before demolition can begin, and was going to the county building department today, Gallo said. Once that approval is granted, demolition should take a couple days, she said.

Fill dirt will be brought in to fill the basement space exposed by the demolition and grass will be planted, said project manager Tony Bonner,.

Building owner Dan Rossi is “looking at different considerations” for what to do with the space, Gallo said.

The committee requested that Strollo return with a landscape plan for the space.

Copyright 2016 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.