Las Vegas company buys historic bank building in downtown Greensburg
The nearly century-old Barclay-Westmoreland Trust Co. bank building — which has stood empty in downtown Greensburg for more than a decade — could soon see new life.
A Las Vegas company bought the 12,000-square-foot structure and plans are being devised on what to do with the property, said Glenn Plantone, owner of National New Builds, part of Vegas International Properties Realty Group.
The granite block building that has stood at the corner of South Main and East Pittsburgh streets since 1928 could become a brewpub, event center or retail space, Plantone said.
His company might rent the space or sell the building to a new owner, depending on how talks go, he said.
The building housed financial institutions until 2005, when Citizens Bank closed its branch there. Citizens acquired the building from Mellon Bank in 2001.
In 2007, developers Doug and Mari-Pat Lingsch bought the building from Citizens for $258,000. They wanted to turn it into a science museum that would bring tourists to Greensburg.
The ensuing economic recession prevented them from raising the $1 million needed for renovations and work on the museum never started, said Barbara Ciampini, the city's planning director.
National New Builds recently struck a deal to buy the vacant building from Lingsch Properties for $100,000, Plantone said. A sign on the front facade announces the sale.
Ciampini said she hopes new development will come soon.
“We're just really grateful to have a new property owner to work with,” Ciampini said.
Plantone buys historic buildings all over the country to lease or sell, and he's particularly interested in banks.
“We convert them, re-rent them to banks or convert them to some other kind of function,” he said.
A lot of historic banks are closing down or moving to smaller facilities as people shift to online banking, he said.
“You've got these great buildings, many standalone, many in a downtown environment like this, that are going to have to be put to another use,” he said.
His company has done this a few times over the last few years. A Nevada office building was purchased by an ambulance company, and bank buildings in Georgia and Ohio were leased or purchased by other banks.
He keeps an eye on national commercial real estate listings for buildings that meet his criteria.
“It's got to be the right building in the right area,” he said.