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Former Foundry shopping center in South Strabane to get new retail space

| Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

A Washington County shopping center that had been plagued by soil erosion problems has a new owner, name and retail space under construction.

Michael H. Staenberg, partner and president of The Staenberg Group of St. Louis, completed the purchase of the complex, formerly The Foundry, along Route 19 in South Strabane for $3.9 million from HCB Foundry LLC and has renamed it the Old Mill.

The sale happens five years since J.C. Penney Co. and two other retailers abandoned stores that were damaged by land subsidence. Since then, all of the structures on the site have been demolished except for restaurants Olive Garden and Max & Erma's.

The new owner is building about 57,000 square feet of retail space on a site behind Olive Gardens, said Andy Boyd, senior asset manager for THF Realty of Charleston, W.Va., which is affiliated with the Staenberg Group. The construction site is near the front of the complex, where subsidence is not an issue.

“We are currently in negotiations with retailers and restaurants who are potential tenants that could fill up the new space,” Boyd said. He did not reveal the names of the retailers or restaurants.

Plans filed with South Strabane by the new owner list three buildings under construction with the owner putting up the shell and the tenants doing interior work. Each tenant will need a building permit, but none has yet applied, said John Stickles, township manager.

Construction should be completed by the end of December or early January.

The Foundry project was announced in 2005 by Indianapolis-based Premier Properties USA, with plans to build a 575,000-square-foot shopping center. By 2007, leases had been signed with such retailers as J.C. Penney, Bed Bath & Beyond, Ross Dress for Less and Max & Erma's.

Premier filed for bankruptcy in June 2008. The property was posted for sheriff's sale twice, but each time the sale was postponed by the mortgage holder, Hillcrest Bank of Overland Park, Kan.

Sam Spatter is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7843 or sspatter@tribweb.com.

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