Youngstown developer’s impact substantial in face of corruption charges

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – The news of criminal charges against Youngstown developer Dominic Marchionda traveled fast Monday. His NYO Property Group has many ties to nearly 60 buildings in downtown Youngstown.

The 100-count indictment he faces, including charges such as bribery, theft, tampering with records and fraud, has put Marchionda’s reputation to task and the future of his business interests on the line.

Even before Monday, Dominic Marchionda’s name was well known. He was the face behind many revitalization projects in Youngstown.

The streets of downtown are active. Take a look around and someone is out grabbing a bite to eat or just hanging out. Sophia Martini from The Federal has noticed the uptick in traffic.

“I’ve seen tremendous changes downtown, as a citizen, and obviously on the business side, too. I graduated from YSU and me and my friends would come downtown. Just seeing the buildup has been awesome,” Martini said.

Stephen Whitfield from Suzie Dogs and Drafts has seen the changes, too. He say’s Youngstown is taking on a college town personality and that’s a good thing.

“Since Tressel’s been here and even it’s just exploding, which is really a positive thing for Youngstown,” Whitfield said.

Dominic Marchionda’s name and NYO Property Group is associated with many new projects and buildings in the downtown area. But Attorney General Mike DeWine says the real estate developer didn’t have the revitalization of Youngstown at heart when he entered into deals for his projects. DeWine accuses Marchionda of misusing Youngstown water fund money and loans for some of his projects to pad his own wallet.

While investigators, prosecutors, and attorneys sort out the corruption charges against Marchionda, Youngstown Mayor John McNally says the properties that are up and running should not be affected, and he hopes Marchionda’s downtown DoubleTree hotel project can continue as planned.

“Great new developments for the city of Youngstown, bringing people downtown,” McNally said.

As for the allegations, Marchionda’s Attorney contends that his client “rejects the State’s characterizations and will defend his years of development work with evidence in a court of law.”