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Surgeon buys West Hills Commons for $2.75 million

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By Mitch Fryer
Thursday, June 21, 2012, 8:02 p.m.

A local orthopedic surgeon has purchased West Hills Commons, a 30,000 square foot medically-focused commercial building along Glade Drive in the West Hills Industrial Park in East Franklin, from the Regional Industrial Development Corp. (RIDC) for $2.75 million.

The new building owner is Dr. Bert Hepner of Armstrong Orthopedic Associates operating as Endow Properties. Hepner, whose practice is in West Kittanning, previously leased space in the building.

The building will continue to house tenants with connections to the medical community and nearby ACMH Hospital. Current tenants are ArmsCare, which is a supplier of hospital equipment and services, ACMH's Outpatient Imaging Center and the Armstrong Educational Trust which subleases space for the Lenape Technical School's Practical Nursing Program.

"West Hills Commons was initiated as an industrial flex building and has slowly transitioned into a medical arts facility," said Mike Coonley, executive director of the Armstrong County Industrial Development Council, and the county's economic development director. "More importantly, it supports our local hospital and a skilled workforce and is now a completely private sector facility."

RIDC, one of the state's largest and most successful private, nonprofit, economic development corporations, purchased land in the county's business park from the Armstrong County Industrial Development Council (IDC) in 1999 and developed West Hills Commons in partnership with the county.

"It was a great collaboration with Armstrong County," said Tim White, RIDC assistant vice president of development. "It helped get that park going."

Don Smith, president of RIDC, in announcing the sale, said, "RIDC's investment in the West Hills Commons provided a unique flex space facility that encouraged additional private investment in the park. We are happy that the building will serve a medical focus that brings quality and stable jobs to the region."

A spokesperson for Armstrong Orthopedic Associates said no one with the medical group had a comment.

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