The president of Ohio One Corp., owner of the Commerce Building downtown, said he envisions the former Youngstown Club as a banquet center and meeting facility.
Located at 201 E. Commerce St., near City Centre One, or the PNC Bank building as it is commonly known, the Commerce Building’s fourth and fifth floors now are vacant, after dwindling revenues forced the 110 year-old Youngstown Club to close Jan. 1.
“We’re just the landlord. I’m not telling the professionals what they should operate as, I’m going to let them tell me,” said Richard Mills, president of Ohio One Corp., which owns several other buildings in the city’s downtown.
But given the available 19,000 square feet of space, with the main dining and grill rooms on the fifth floor and offices and meeting rooms on the fourth, Mills said he has been in discussions with the region’s “premier restaurateurs and banquet operators,” declining to name specific parties.
He has also enlisted the help of a commercial Realtor and as of Friday he was pleased with his search for a new tenant.
“It’s been very encouraging. We’re still in the preliminary stages, but I’m taking all calls from anyone that would be interested in the space,” Mills said.
Members from the local Rotary and Kiwanis clubs have expressed an interest in continuing to meet there for annual meetings, as they did when the space was occupied by the Youngstown Club. Mills believes a banquet center could flourish at the location by also opening the venue to the public for special events like those that proceed concerts at the Covelli Centre.
Ohio One will remain flexible on leasing options, Mills added, with rent for the space negotiable and the fourth and fifth floors optional.