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Sheriff's sale provides new owner for Wall Hotel

| Wednesday, March 12, 2014, 3:36 a.m.
The crumbling Wall Hotel in Wall Borough was purchased at a Sheriff’s sale last week.
Cindy Shegan Keeley | Daily News
The crumbling Wall Hotel in Wall Borough was purchased at a Sheriff’s sale last week.
The crumbling Wall Hotel in Wall Borough was purchased at a Sheriff’s sale last week.
Cindy Shegan Keeley | Daily News
The crumbling Wall Hotel in Wall Borough was purchased at a Sheriff’s sale last week.

The old Wall Hotel in the tiny borough of Wall could be revitalized because a local real estate company purchased it at sheriff's sale last week.

Jason Cohen of Mt. Lebanon-based JLB Diversified Investments bought the three-story building near the intersection of Wall Avenue and Versailles Avenue for $8,800 on March 3, according to the Allegheny County Sheriff's Office.

The purchase came just weeks after crumbling bricks fell from the roof of the building onto the sidewalk along Wall Avenue, forcing traffic into a single lane until repairs can be made.

The building most recently served as a strip club until it was closed more than five years ago. Mark Lassaro, borough ordinance officer and building inspector, said taxes hadn't been paid on the property in years and officials had no success reaching the prior owner.

Cohen, who owns properties in Shadyside, Squirrel Hill and the South Side, among other areas, said he had never been to Wall until two weeks ago when he looked at the building for the first time.

“I thought the neighborhood was nice and the property was significant,” Cohen said. “It's one of the cornerstones there and I think we were able to get it for the right price.”

Cohen said the transaction won't be final until the deed is recorded, a process that could take up to 30 days.

No Wall officials returned calls for comment by presstime.

“Once we're allowed in, we'll immediately clean up the brick and take down some of the spray paint on the side of the building,” he said. “Then it's a matter of just checking to see that everything is safe, secure and in compliance of code.”

Cohen said he sent a contractor to inspect the portion of the roof that has started to deteriorate and was told it won't be a major issue.

Future plans for the building still are under consideration.

“We haven't decided whether we'll be holding it long-term and renting it out as a storefront and apartments up top or if we'll be renovating it to sell,” said Cohen. “But either way, we'll be cleaning it up as soon as we can.”

Tim Karan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1970, or tkaran@tribweb.com.

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