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New Kensington Council approves sale of 10th Street site to city man

| Wednesday, April 3, 2013, 12:51 a.m.

New Kensington Council on Tuesday agreed to allow a city man to buy a 10th Street property and return it to the tax rolls.

Theodore Saganis of Third Avenue said he and Michael Saganis plan to buy 324 10th St. from Westmoreland County's repository of unsold properties. Properties that are seized, typically for unpaid taxes, liens or other legal issues, and can't be sold at tax sales end up in the repository.

Theodore Saganis said they operate a rental property business in the city and he plans to restore the building, which City Clerk Dennis Scarpiniti said is across the street from the city's former parking authority building.

Saganis said he hopes to move his rental offices into the first floor and rent out second-floor apartments.

“We're trying to eliminate the blight in the city as much as possible,” Saganis said. “I think it will benefit the city.”

He said he plans to fix the roof and improve the facade.

When questioned by Councilman John Regoli on a time frame for restoring the property, Saganis said he has a contractor working on another city property he owns on Third Avenue in May; he hopes the same contractor will fix the 10th Street building at the same time.

Scarpiniti said Code Enforcement Officer Pat McGrath visited the building and did not offer any reasons why it couldn't be restored.

Council at times has rebuffed prospective repository buyers who did not live locally, have viable restoration plans or a good record of property maintenance.

Offers for repository property often are as low as $500, which Mayor Tom Guzzo said was the Saganises' offer for the 10th Street building.

County property records indicate Emanuel J. Oakes Jr. of Wilkinsburg last owned the property, having paid almost $6,000 for it in 2007.

Councilman Todd Mentecki noted Saganis had a clear interest in the 10th Street and other properties. Council unanimously approved the sale to the Saganises.

Liz Hayes is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-226-4680 or lhayes@tribweb.com.

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