Historic mansion to become apartments
By Burton Speakman
A piece of Youngstown’s history will come back to life with the vacant Heedy Mansion in the Wick Park neighborhood being converted into apartments.
The Ohio Development Services approved $93,200 in Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credits on Friday that will aid Dominic Gatta in completing the project.
The hope is to begin working on the building in the next month or two, Gatta said.
The building will become five apartments with between 1,500 and 1,800 square feet. The total cost of the project is expected to be $477,000.
Gatta said he is excited about the project and was thrilled when he learned about the tax credits.
“When I first heard the home was available for sale, I thought I would go and take a look at it because of historical preservation,” he said.
The home is on the National Register of Historic Places and was built in 1911, Gatta said. It is located at 264 Broadway on the North Side. It was used as a mental-health facility before being abandoned in 1997.
There was some damage to the home when it was abandoned, but overall, the property is in good shape, he said.
“We cleaned out some debris, but it has really good bones and structure,” Gatta said.
The plan is to market the apartments to Youngstown State University students and young professionals, he said. The best case would be for the project to be finished before August so students would have the chance to lease before the next school year.
“One of the good things about working with historic preservation is their rules are pretty strict,” Gatta said. “A lot of these houses over here have been so cut up they lose their flow and the features that made them unique.”
These apartments there will contain a lot of interesting features such as fireplaces and grand windows. The flow of the original home will also be maintained, he said.
The state was excited to work with Gatta again because of the success of the Federal Building project in downtown Youngstown, said Stephanie Gostomski, spokeswoman for the development services agency.
“This was the first time we’ve given a credit to a project outside of the downtown,” she said. “It was nice to be able to branch out.”
Construction plans are mostly done, but there are still some elements that need to be completed, Gatta said.
“There was a lot of competition for these tax credits,” Gostomski said. “We received close to $90 million in requests and gave out $33 million in tax credits.”
The demand versus how many credits were awarded says a lot about the quality of the projects that were selected, she said.
The city of Youngstown also was willing to waive some tax liens on the property to help the project move forward.
“The building had been vacant for six, seven years. Either someone needed to do something with it, or eventually it was going to get torn down,” Gatta said.