Roundup: Mortgage rates rise; State sets tougher rules; more
Bakery Square developer paid $5.4M for 2.0
Developers of the $100 million Bakery Square 2.0 project in East Liberty paid $5.428 million for the former Reizenstein School, which is being demolished. The developer, Walnut Capital Partners of Shadyside, recently purchased the 12.91 acre site, which contains the school, from the School District of Pittsburgh for $420,000 per acre. The first part of the development to be built is the first of two 175-unit apartment buildings in March, following a decision to eliminate about 20 single-family residential homes on the property. As demand for office space arises, the first of several office buildings along Penn Avenue, will be started, according to Todd Reidbord, a principal of the company which also built Bakery Square, across Penn Avenue from the new development.
Wesco profit dips 11.3% on expenses
Wesco International Inc., South Side, said profit fell 11.3 percent during the October-December quarter because of one-time charges and higher expenses. Net income dropped to $49 million from nearly $55 million in the year-ago quarter, or 95 cents a share, versus $1.12 a year earlier. Wesco, a distributor of electrical, industrial and other supplies, experienced “a challenging economic environment,” said CEO John Engel in a statement. Revenue rose 3.5 percent to more than $1.64 billion from $1.59 billion. The quarter included results from acquiring Eecol Electric Corp., a distributor in Calgary.
Tougher rules set on gas compressors
New state rules set tougher emissions limits for compressor stations that move natural gas from well sites to transmission pipelines. The Department of Environmental Protection said Thursday it finalized revisions to a general permit for natural gas-fired engines and equipment at the stations. The emissions limits are 75 to 90 percent stricter than those under the old permit. DEP also is seeking comments until March 19 on a plan approval and operating permit exemption for air emissions sources at drilling sites; wells would be eligible if they meet emission control criteria that are stricter than federal standards. Details are at www.dep.state.pa.us.
30-year mortgage rate rises to 3.53%
The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage rose this week to its highest level in four months but remains low by historical standards. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the rate on the 30-year loan increased to 3.53 percent. That's up from 3.42 percent last week and the first time the rate has exceeded 3.50 percent since September.
• United Parcel Service Inc. said weak global trade and a disappointing holiday-shopping season slowed it down in the fourth quarter. UPS said that it lost $1.75 billion in the fourth quarter because of a $3 billion charge for pension liabilities, compared with a profit of $725 million a year earlier. Revenue rose 3 percent to $14.57 billion, beating analysts' forecast of $14.48 billion. UPS employs 3,140 in the Pittsburgh region.
• Hershey said net income rose 5.5 percent in the fourth quarter, as sales of its Kit Kats, Reese's and other candies boosted revenue. The company, based in Hershey, said it earned $149.9 million, or 66 cents per share. That's up from $142.1 million, or 62 cents per share, in the year ago period. Sales rose 12 percent to $1.75 billion from $1.56 billion a year earlier.
• John O'Britz of South Fayette, has been appointed chief financial officer at Goodwill of Southwestern Pennsylvania. O'Britz, a certified public accountant, was assistant controller with Goodwill in the mid-1990s and had been director of finance for Franklin Interiors since 1999.