August Wilson Center To Be Sold To Foundations

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dollar Bank and the court-appointed receiver for the debt-ridden August Wilson Center for African American Culture struck a deal on Monday to sell the embattled Downtown cultural center to a coalition of foundations for $8.85 million.

The agreement nixes the proposed $9.5 million sale of the center to New York-based 980 Liberty Partners, a developer that wanted to build a 200-room luxury hotel atop the existing two stories and share space with the center.

The surprise announcement shortly before noon in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court halted what was supposed to be a two- to three-day trial over deed terms before it began. It marked a shift in course for court-appointed receiver Judith K. Fitzgerald, who had previously urged the judge to approve the sale to 980.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/6866840-74/million-center-court#ixzz3Ej4UAIHV
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Gateway Center Owner Confirms Complex Is For Sale

Gateway Center, downtown Pittsburgh

Gateway Center, downtown Pittsburgh

The Downtown office complex that became the face of Pittsburgh’s first Renaissance 60 years ago is for sale.

California-based Hertz Investment Group confirmed on Tuesday that it intends to sell the four buildings and parking garage it owns in Gateway Center at the tip of the Golden Triangle.

The complex consists of four skyscrapers known as Buildings One, Two, Three and Four and the garage on Liberty Avenue near Building Four.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/6597718-74/hertz-complex-buildings#ixzz3ACedDCZF
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Darden Announces Sale Of Red Lobster For $2.1B

NEW YORK (AP) — Darden Restaurants says it will sell its Red Lobster chain to investment firm Golden Gate Capital in a $2.1 billion cash deal.

The company, which also owns Olive Garden, had announced late last year that it planned to either spin off or sell Red Lobster to improve its financial performance.

Both Olive Garden and Red Lobster have been losing customers in recent years, and the company has tried various menu changes and differentmarketing campaigns in hopes of winning back business.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140516/darden-announces-sale-of-red-lobster-for-21b

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Court Documents: Sherman Hills Sale Price Tops $16M

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The current owners of the troubled Sherman Hills Apartments in Wilkes-Barre will receive more than $16 million should a proposed sale be finalized this month, according to court documents filed Tuesday in Luzerne County Court.

Family members of a murder victim are trying to block the sale or have the sale proceeds placed in escrow, claiming the sale of the low-income housing project would make the complex “judgement proof.”

On Tuesday, lawyers for Sherman Hills filed their response, saying the sale should be allowed to proceed.  The sales agreement was attached to the response and revealed Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Park Management, the complex’s owner, will be paid $16.2 million from the sale.

Survivors of murder victim Shantique Goodson, 27, fatally shot at the complex on Nov. 11, 2013, are seeking an injunction to block the sale, or place the sale proceeds in escrow, until the lawsuit plays out. A hearing on the matter is scheduled for Wednesday morning in Luzerne County Court.

Read more: http://citizensvoice.com/news/court-documents-sherman-hills-sale-price-tops-16m-1.1664522

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Reading Royals To Be Sold To Berks Businessman

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Reading Royals will be sold to Berks County businessman Jack D. Gulati, officials involved in the deal announced today.

Gulati said he plans to keep the Kelly Cup winners in Reading and based out of the Santander Arena.

He has agreed to buy 100 percent of the team shares. Ownership had been split between the Berks County Convention Center Authority and SMG, the company that operates the arena.

The sale is contingent on EHCL, formerly East Coast Hockey League, approval.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/news/article/reading-royals-to-be-sold-to-berks-businessman#.Uv-jHPRDsxI

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Protestors Gather In Norristown To Oppose Parkhouse Sale

Location of Upper Providence Township in Montg...

Location of Upper Providence Township in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

NORRISTOWN — Protestors rallied outside of the Montgomery County Courthouse Saturday in opposition to the sale of the Parkhouse geriatric center and its surrounding 220 acres of land in Upper Providence.

Upper Providence Supervisor Lisa Mossie, who has been at the forefront of opposition to the sale, said she was hoping the Montgomery County commissioners would notice the rally, cancel the sale and work out a new deal for the property.

“It’s my hope that it will change the commissioners’ minds that this is something nobody cares about. That it’s not a vocal minority. Everybody I have talked to is upset about this,” Mossie said. “My hope is that this sale is not done. It’s not finalized yet. They’ve cited that as their reason for not releasing the terms of the sale.”

Read more: http://www.timesherald.com/general-news/20131228/protestors-gather-in-norristown-to-oppose-parkhouse-sale

Montco Urged To Sell Nursing Care Complex For $39M

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

NORRISTOWN, PA — A “working group” of senior county staff is recommending the sale of Montgomery County’s Parkhouse Providence Pointe nursing care complex to a Maryland-based company.

While no action has yet been taken regarding the proposed Parkhouse transaction, the Montgomery County commissioners are entertaining the idea of selling the facility to a private firm, Mid-Atlantic Health Care LLC, for $39 million.

The nine-member working group is composed of senior staff from the Department of Aging and Adult Services, the county planning commission and Parkhouse Providence Pointe administrators. Of 10 respondents, all members of the group vouched Tuesday for Mid-Atlantic as the outstanding applicant to the request for proposals the county issued in June.

As part of an overall review of all county enterprises, about 200 acres of land at Parkhouse near Royersford could be put on the block. This sale, however, would exclude the newly-zoned open space across from Route 113, the home to more than 1,700 unmarked graves, some dating back to the early part of the 19th century.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20131011/montco-urged-to-sell-nursing-care-complex-for-39m

Armstrong’s Yearly Profit Climbs

Armstrong World Industries today reported a small drop in net profits for the fourth quarter but a sizable increase for the year.

For the quarter, net profits slid 1.2 percent to $8.4 million (14 cents a share) from $8.5 million (14 cents a share) in the 2011 quarter.

Sales dipped 1.6 percent to $612.8 million.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/816802_Armstrong-s-yearly-profit-climbs.html#ixzz2LOK0sAFf

St. Joseph’s University Buying Philadelphia Cardinal’s Mansion For $10 Million

St. Joseph’s University announced Friday that it would acquire the cardinal’s residence on City Avenue from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia for $10 million.

The stone mansion, on 8.9 acres, has served as the home of the archbishops of Philadelphia since 1935, when the church bought it for Cardinal Dennis Dougherty for $115,000.

Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, who assumed leadership of the archdiocese one year ago, put the 16-room residence on the market in January. In June, he reported that the archdiocese faced a $17.5 million operating debt.

Sources said Chaput, a Franciscan Capuchin friar, was not comfortable living in a baronial-style mansion as he was preparing his flock for school and parish closings to trim the deficit.  He has also put the retired priests’ summer home in Ventnor, N.J., up for sale, with an estimated value of $6 million.

Read more: http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20120908_St__Joseph_s_buying_cardinal_s_mansion_for__10M.html

Development Group To Buy Abraham Lincoln Hotel Garage

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Reading Parking Authority Board agreed Wednesday to sell the parking garage at The Abraham Lincoln hotel to Alan Shuman Development Group, Reading, for $1.05 million.

Authority Executive Director Lawrence H. Lee said the board wanted to sell the garage at North Fifth and Washington streets to whoever was purchasing the hotel, for which the development group has an agreement of sale.

Details on the hotel purchase were not available.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=382186

Owner Of ViVA Hopes To Buy Club

The owner of ViVA Good Life-Wyomissing Inc. signed an agreement of sale to buy Green Valley Country Club, if he can get subdivision approval.

Jeffrey D. Hettinger said his company, JMH Inc., wants to buy 14 of the 26 available acres to expand its event operations.

The remaining 12 acres would stay in the ownership of the country club.

If Lower Heidelberg Township supervisors don’t approve subdividing the land, Hettinger said he would not buy the property, but instead would enter into a 10-year lease with the club.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=381091

Newspaper Barons Resurface

The Philadelphia Inquirer-Daily News Building ...

The Philadelphia Inquirer-Daily News Building in Philadelphia, PA. Taken from North Broad and Callowhill Streets. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note: If you have followed the sale of the Philadelphia newspapers, this article gives some perspective on what that might mean for Philadelphia from an out-of-town perspective.

Is there anything more forlorn than the American metropolitan newspaper? First readers began deserting in droves, then the advertisers followed. Family owners headed for the exits and then hedge funds and other financial players scooped up newspapers thinking they were buying at the bottom of the market. Greater fools came and went, each saying they could cut their way to former glory and renewed profitability. They got a haircut instead.

Many smaller community newspapers remain stable and newspapers with a large national footprint have generally done better. But quite a few of the midsize regional and metropolitan dailies that form the core of the industry have gone off a cliff: over all, the newspaper industry is half as big as it was seven years ago.

So if most newspapers are an uneconomical proposition incapable of sustaining profits, let alone pay off the debt so many buyers have larded on them, who is left to own them?

Rich guys.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/09/business/media/the-return-of-the-newspaper-barons.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&src=dayp

Crystal Cathedral Sold To Roman Catholic Diocese

The Hour of Power

Image via Wikipedia

The glittering monument to Robert H. Schuller‘s ministry is being sold to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange.  The Crystal Cathedral filed for bankruptcy last year and is being purchased by the diocese for $57.5 million.

After Robert H. Schuller retired in 2006, his son (Robert A.) tried to follow in his famous father’s footsteps as Senior Pastor.  However, in 2008 Robert A. Schuller was removed as Senior Pastor by his father.  Robert H. then made his daughter Sheila Interim Senior Pastor in 2009.  Sheila became the permanent Senior Pastor in 2010.  Three months after her elevation to permanent Senior Pastor the church filed for bankruptcy.  During this transition period the church lost thousands of members and millions of dollars in revenue, causing layoffs, salary cuts and finally bankruptcy.

Chapman University had offered to buy the 40-acre complex and allow the congregants to continue worshipping in the cathedral.  However, selling to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange will guarantee that the Crystal Cathedral will continue to be used as a house of worship.  The diocese has plans to make the Crystal Cathedral the center for the Catholic community in Orange County.

In three years, the congregation at the Crystal Cathedral will need to move.  There are some who fear the move will be too much for the remaining congregation.  There is also concern that the Hour of Power television program viewers might disappear if the show is no longer broadcast from the Crystal Cathedral.  70% of the revenue for the Crystal Cathedral comes from Hour of Power viewers.

At one time, the Crystal Cathedral had 10,000 local members.  Coincidentally, there are 10,000 panes of glass that make up the famous church, which was dedicated in 1980.

Investors Come Forward With Harrisburg Incinerator And Parking Deals

Recreation of the flag of the city of Harrisbu...

Image via Wikipedia

A new player has entered the “who wants the Harrisburg incinerator” sweepstakes while the Lancaster County Solid Waste Authority ups their ante.

New York investor Jacob Frydman has offered a deal that includes leasing the incinerator and the city’s parking system.  Frydman and company are mainly interested in the parking system.  They are offering a deal that would net Harrisburg $240 million.  Of course this means parking rates and trash rates will instantly increase as somebody has to shoulder the debt and the investor needs to show a profit.

The Lancaster County Solid Waste Authority has upped their offer to $124 million and would increase tipping fees for county residents while reducing fees for city residents, who pay much more.  The goal would be to have city and county residents paying the same for trash service in twenty years.  Lancaster has no interest in the parking system.

The Act 47 team will also have a plan for the incinerator debt as well.  They may suggest an entirely different scenario than either of these two proposals.

Northampton County Mulls Sale Of County Nursing Home

Northampton County is debating the privatization of Gracedale.  Gracedale is the county’s nursing home with 650 residents.

This would be a big deal as Gracedale is Pennsylvania’s second-largest nursing home.  There are 750 employees.  The reason for this consideration is the drain on the county budget.  $7.8 million to be exact.  Northampton County is looking at a $10 million budget deficit and possible 20% tax hike.  Ouch!

Gracedale has more beds than demand.  725 beds, 650 residents.  Employee benefits are also gobbling up the profits.  Can you say pension plan nightmare!

At this time, leasing the facility seems to be the preferred course of action. However, patient care would have to be guaranteed.  By leasing Gracedale, the county would be off the hook for the $7.8 million while receiving $2.5 million in annual revenue from whatever company would lease the facility.  $10 million deficit eliminated.  Selling Gracedale would generate $31 million for the county.

There seems to be a growing trend of Pennsylvania counties selling their nursing homes.  Carbon, Dauphin, Luzerne, Lancaster and Cambria counties have all unloaded their county nursing homes. 

Lehigh County has no plans to sell their nursing home but they are seeking ways to contain costs.