Operation Nehemiah forced into sheriff's sale

| Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012, 12:01 a.m.

After years of struggle to bring development to the former East Hills Shopping Center, Operation Nehemiah, a nonprofit social services arm of Petra International Ministries, is scheduled for an Allegheny County sheriff's sale on the property on Feb. 4.

First Commonwealth Bank filed a lawsuit to collect $2.2 million in mortgage payments, interest, legal fees and other charges.

“We got the loan after both Wal-Mart and Lowe's said they would bring stores to the site, and we prepared the property — with roads and utilities — but they pulled out, leaving us in the lurch,” said Milton Raiford, a board member of Operation Nehemiah and an elder of Petra International Ministries.

Raiford, an attorney, urged developers to consider helping develop the property that straddles portions of Pittsburgh, Penn Hills and Wilkinsburg and is at 235 Eastgate Drive.

The property has no tenants.

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