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Hampton motel might have no vacancies — permanently

| Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Deborah Deasy | Hampton Journal
Christine Perkins, 49, is the hotel manager at Buskey's Motel and is saddened at the thought of its closing.
Deborah Deasy | Hampton Journal
Christine Perkins, 49, is the hotel manager at Buskey's Motel and is saddened at the thought of its closing.
Deborah Deasy | Hampton Journal
Buskey's Motel has long been a fixture in the area, but it could be demolished to make room for a CVS Pharmacy.

Buskey's Motel in Hampton appears to have a date with the wrecking ball.

A potential buyer wants to tear down the storied landmark at 4849 Route 8 and replace it with a CVS Pharmacy.

“We don't know when he will start construction. Once it is sold, all the tenants will have to go,” said Narsimha Reddy of Aspinwall, general partner in NR Associates, the motel's current owner.

Current tenants include Christine Perkins, 49, who lives at Buskey's as the motel's manager. She said she currently rents 16 of the motel's 22 rooms to weekly and monthly boarders.

“All of these people are going to lose their home,” Christine Perkins said. “It breaks my heart.”

North Hills Community Outreach and the St. Vincent de Paul Society are among agencies that now refer people to Buskey's according to Perkins.

“We're kind of a helping hand for people,” Melisa Perkins said.

Melisa Perkins, a college student and Christine Perkins' daughter, also helps to maintain Buskey's.

“People used to think this a no-tell hotel, but it's not,” Christine Perkins said.

“When we took over, we had hookers coming to the door,” said Christine Perkins, who became Buskey's manager in August 2012. “The guys would come in for rooms — and, you know, they wouldn't stay ... I got to the point that even if I had a room, I wouldn't give it to them.”

Room prices are $37.45 to $41.73 per night, $187.25 to $208.65 per week, and $450 to $470 per month.

Christine Perkins said she washes all the motel laundry in soap, bleach and disinfectant.

“I usually do eight or nine loads a day,” she said. “The biggest complaint people have is that the rooms smell like bleach.”

Reddy, the current co-owner of Buskey's, said he thinks the motel was built more than 60 years ago to serve motorists of the new, nearby Pennsylvania Turnpike. Reddy praised Christine Perkins' efforts to clean up Buskey's image.

“She's the best manager so far,” he said.

As NR Associates, Reddy and partners bought Buskey's Motel in 1987 for $240,000, according to Allegheny County records. Reddy now hopes to sell Buskey's by the end of 2013 to BT Management of Altoona, Cambria County.

“It's under contract,” Don Hultberg of the EADS Group said after a Dec. 4 public hearing on BT Management's application to build a drive-through lane for the proposed, 13,225 square-foot CVS store.

EADS Group will serve as the site consultants and project manager, said Hultberg.

CVS will lease the new structure to replace its store near the McDonald's on Route 8, he said, likely before Thanksgiving 2014.

But the Buskey's sale depends on BT Management getting Hampton officials' approval to build a drive-through lane for the proposed drug store.

Construction of such a lane requires Hampton Council's approval as a conditional use in a highway commercial district.

At the public hearing, a number of prospective neighbors questioned the EADS Group's plans to excavate hillsides that border Buskey's 2-acre site.

Others people expressed worries about the dangers likely to face motorists trying to exit the proposed CVS store's parking lot at Route 8 and West McNeal Road.

“Buskey's is sacred ground to me,” said Al Werling, a lifelong Hampton resident who remembers renting room at Buskey's to party with friends in his youth.

Deborah Deasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6369 or ddeasy@tribweb.com.

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