Former Jeannette District Memorial Hospital's fate may be known in January
Jeannette and state officials say they hope to learn by January whether a developer will take over the former Jeannette District Memorial Hospital and convert it into an office park for several businesses, adding about 200 jobs in the financially distressed city.
City Attorney Scott Avolio said the deal hinges on how much it will cost JH Capital Group of California to renovate the structure, which is owned by Excela Health of Greensburg and has been closed since 2011.
“I have no more knowledge about the deal than I had a couple of weeks ago,” said Avolio, who is awaiting a decision from JH Capital's board of directors.
State Sen. Kim Ward, R-Hempfield, said she also expects a decision in January.
“They have some time and money invested in it,” she said. “These buildings are always a big challenge. I hope Excela and other parties involved in this bend over backwards to alleviate one problem in Jeannette.”
Ward said there is a local connection to the deal.
JH Capital is managed by CEO Douglas Jacobsen. His partner in the proposed project is Henry Kravetz, chairman of the board. Kravetz is married to the former Glenda Hankins Kravetz, a 1965 graduate of Ligonier Valley High School.
Jeff Rega, who is the asset manager for Realty Bancorp, which is owned by Kravetz, is a 1982 graduate of Jeannette High School and the University of Pittsburgh.
Ward said the developer was made aware of the potential of renovating the former hospital through Kravetz.
“I knew they got here through the (connection) in Ligonier,” she said.
Officials at Excela and JH Capital have signed a confidentiality agreement and cannot discuss the project. There are concerns among city officials that the longer the building remains idle, the more costly it will be to renovate the structure. The hospital was founded in 1959.
Excela has publicly committed to demolishing the building if a buyer can't be found because, it said, it will not allow it to turn into another eyesore like the nearby Monsour Medical Center on Route 30.
If Jacobsen and Kravetz decide to abandon their plans, the financial impact could hurt the county, city and school district. Excela won a reduction in its tax assessment in 2012, which is being appealed.
Avolio said an appeal is on hold. The county Tax Assessment Board reduced the health care system's tax liability by more than $140,000. He said the parties agreed to stay the appeal until Jacobsen decides if he will assume ownership of the building, which includes the hospital building, a medical office building and a parking garage.
The school district stands to lose $85,000 if the appeal is denied while the cash-strapped city faces a $35,000 loss of tax revenue. Westmoreland County would lose $21,000.
Richard Gazarik is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6292 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Westmoreland man charged with firing gun, narrowly missing child
- Part-time prison guards wanted in Westmoreland
- Wyano woman accused of sex with 15-year-old boy
- Greensburg plastic surgeon pleads not guilty to charges of interfering with painkiller investigation
- Feud escalates between Westmoreland commissioner, controller
- With $4M in bank from municipal authority sale, financially strapped Jeannette exhales
- Westmoreland County’s prison board to consider inmate service projects
- Hempfield community group wins park auction
- Mt. Pleasant Borough pursues permit parking
- Robber holds up Family Dollar in Greensburg
- Unity man collects bits of Westmoreland County history