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Apr. 17, 2013

Pittsburgh Public Schools Plan Sale of Closed Facilities

By Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

Pittsburgh Public Schools is considering the sale of 19 of its 20 closed buildings across the city. Only the Knoxville property at 324 Charles Street will be kept for use as a warehouse. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the School District has selected Fourth River Development to market its portfolio.

Combined, the 20 properties have a debt of $9.15 million, as well as an annual operating cost of $681,850. The buildings with the greatest amount of debt are Northview in Northview Heights with $1.96 million; Fort Pitt in Garfield with $1.86 million; and Belmar in Homewood with $1.34 million.

For most of the assets, Fourth River is recommending a negotiated sale, which requires three appraisals. If sold to a for-profit organization, the property’s sales price cannot go under the highest of the three appraisals.

Four of the buildings, however, may not attract high bids and could be donated or demolished. These include Beltzhoover, Gladstone in Hazelwood, Rogers in Garfield and Belmar. The Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation will review any demolition plans in detail, the newspaper reports.

On the other hand, the properties with the highest interest are McCleary in Lawrenceville, Morningside, Columbus on the North Side and Burgwin in Hazelwood. In fact, the Morningside building has only $9,180 in debt, the lowest of the 20 assets.

The School Board is also considering the sale of its headquarters, a 1920s building on South Bellefield Avenue in Oakland. Pat Morosetti, Fourth River’s sales and leasing manager, told officials that the property is the School District’s most valuable asset, as demand for both residential and commercial space in Oakland is well over 90 percent.

Photo credits: http://www.frd.us.com/pghschools/morningside.htm

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