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Trafford's long-vacant 'bank building' sold for $15,000

| Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013, 5:00 p.m.
Lillian DeDomenic | For the Penn-Trafford Star Lanalex Cloyd Inc. bought the 'bank building' at Cavitt Avenue and Fifth Street in Trafford after the former owner lost the property in a Westmoreland County sheriff's sale.
Lillian DeDomenic | For the Penn-Trafford Star Lanalex Cloyd Inc. bought the 'bank building' at Cavitt Avenue and Fifth Street in Trafford after the former owner lost the property in a Westmoreland County sheriff's sale.
Lillian DeDomenic | For the Penn-Trafford Star Lanalex Cloyd Inc. bought the 'bank building' at Cavitt Avenue and Fifth Street in Trafford after the former owner lost the property in a Westmoreland County sheriff's sale.

One of Trafford's oldest commercial buildings, which once housed a Westinghouse-affiliated inn, is under new ownership.

A newly formed company called Lanalex Cloyd Inc. bought the long-vacant, four-story brick structure at Cavitt Avenue and Fifth Street — commonly known around town as the “bank building” — this fall for $15,000 from Bayview Loan Servicing, Coral Gables, Fla., Westmoreland County court records show. The Florida firm acquired the building through a sheriff's sale in January.

The new company's CEO, Frank Yeager, is the owner of the Murrysville-based Brighter Finish Construction home-remodeling and repair business. Yeager could not be reached for an interview about his plans for the 14,667-square-foot building, which has two storefronts facing Cavitt Avenue and space on the upper floors for apartments.

The sale price was less than one-third of the initial listing price of $49,000, which officials at Westmoreland County's redevelopment authority helped to advertise through the county's online “Downtown Destinations” catalog of available properties.

Trafford Councilman Casey Shoub, who serves on the Trafford Economic and Community Development Corp., said he wishes the new owner luck in rehabilitating the property.

“Anything is better than a building being empty,” Shoub said.

Though the building has housed several businesses over the past century — including multiple banks from the 1920s until the 1990s — it was known as the Trafford Inn when it opened in 1904, one year before the borough's incorporation.

As industrialist George Westinghouse and his business partners designed the new town of Trafford and advertised the selling of lots, the inn was built to house single men working at the new Westinghouse foundry.

The inn could accommodate as many as 75 guests and had many amenities, according to an issue of “The Electrical World and Engineer,” whose Oct. 10, 1903, journal described the new foundry.

“The general internal arrangement is on the bachelor club plan, the idea being to provide to the well-to-do employees of the foundry who have no families such comforts and accommodations as will render occupation at the Trafford plant most desirable,” the journal states. “A large reading room on the first floor adjoins the dining room, and these two rooms by being thrown together can be used for meetings and entertainments.”

Libby Sosinski, the listing agent for the property, said she loves the basement of the building, which features an old pool hall. A bank vault also remains in the building. Though Sosinski said the “possibilities are endless” for the property, she acknowledged that it will need some repairs.

“It's such a shame the property condition had deteriorated so much, but, oh, what someone can do with that place,” Sosinski of Keller Williams Realty said in an email. “Fixed up, it will be such a stunning property.”

Chris Foreman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8671, or cforeman@tribweb.com.

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