August Wilson Center Hotel Plan In Limbo As Trial Looms Over Covenant Issues
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – During a Wednesday morning hearing, attorneys for the receiver that approved a plan to build a hotel on top of the August Wilson Center argued that the plan is still viable.
After lengthy testimony from representatives of the Urban Redevelopment Authority stating legal covenants prohibit such a use for the property, Judge Lawrence O’Toole scheduled a trial for late September to settle the issue.
At the same time, Dollar Bank announced it plans to begin foreclosure proceedings for the property in October.
Attorney Michael Shiner, who represents the receiver, says he still hopes to reach agreement on the hotel proposal which would also allow space for an African-American cultural center.
“Obviously, we would like to avoid a foreclosure sale of the property,” Shiner said. “It’s our strong preference to -– we just don’t think it’s in anybody’s interest to have Dollar Bank essentially take the property back. That doesn’t help any of us.”
August Wilson Center co-founder, and former city councilman Sala Udin hopes that a proposal offered by local foundations can still prove to be viable.
“As far as I can see, there’s only one bidder who would make an offer that falls within and would be consistent with the terms of the covenant and the deed of the land and its use,” Udin said, “and that is the offer that has been made by the collective foundations.”