Youngstown council extends the time downtown hotel owners have to repay a loan

Published: Thu, October 18, 2018 @ 12:07 a.m.

By David Skolnick


City council agreed to extend the time the owners of the DoubleTree by Hilton hotel have to repay a $2,050,000 no-interest loan to the city.

Council voted Wednesday to allow the developers to repay the loan by December 2019, six months later than the original 30 months they were given by city council to do so.

The delay is related to Youngstown Stambaugh Hotel LLC not receiving $4 million federal historic tax credits in time.

The company – which is co-owned by the NYO Property Group of Youngstown and Pan Brother Associates of New York City – has since received approval for the tax credits.

“The reason for the request is the delays they experienced with the tax credits,” said T. Sharon Woodberry, the city’s director of community planning and economic development. “This will give them more time.”

The company also received $5 million in state historic tax credits.

Council approved the $2,050,000 loan Dec. 7, 2016, to the downtown hotel owners with $750,000 of it forgiven if it was paid back within 30 months. The $750,000 loan forgiveness is also extended to December 2019, Woodberry said.

There is no interest if the loan is repaid in three years. The interest goes up to 6.5 percent if it takes longer than three years to pay back.

The city money came from water, wastewater and environmental sanitation funds for that time of work at the site.

The 12-floor hotel at the former Stambaugh Building, 44 E. Federal St., features 125 guest rooms, a restaurant, a 24-hour lobby market, 24-hour fitness center, business center and meeting spaces, including the top-floor Palladian Ballroom featuring views of the city from every side of the room.

The hotel opened in May.

Meanwhile, council postponed votes to amend the city’s master-salary ordinance to officially reduce the number of fire department captains and lieutenants.

The legislation is a formality as the city administration announced Oct. 4 it was taking one firetruck out of service and demoting nine firefighters to save money.

The city will permanently eliminate three fire captain and three lieutenant positions. Those individuals will be demoted, as will three additional lieutenants whose positions will be filled by the demoted captains.

Council heard from Marie Rupert, whose husband is a firefighter, urging the city to look at other options than eliminating a firetruck. She said she feared for the firefighters’ safety.

Council also unveiled a replica boxing belt – “City of You Heavyweight Champion” – it will award every month or two to a city business. The belt will hang at various businesses on a rotating basis as determined by council, said Councilman Julius Oliver, D-1st.

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