Dollar Bank Holds the August Wilson Center (to keep it warm…)

UPDATE: Belay that headline. The foundations bought the Center from Dollar.

At length it has come to this:

The sale to the foundations almost happened last week. Court-appointed conservator Judith Fitzgerald attempted to sell the property to the consortium for $8.49 million. Allegheny County Common Pleas Orphans’ Court Judge Lawrence O’Toole approved that sale, free of all debt and liens.

But two days later, International Investigative Services, a Bethel Park firm that provided security at the center, filed an appeal with the state Superior Court to claim more than $200,000 owed by the center. The three foundations would not close on the deal until the appeal was settled, setting up Monday’s court date. (P-G, Daniel Moore)

It is possible that the bank merely is holding the property to increase its influence over the future entity which will go on to operate it as the August Wilson Center for African-American Culture — which theoretically, could be an appropriate check and balance in this state.

Or Dollar could be eager to find a more lucrative use for the property.

Most likely, it will wait and see what comes.

Real life stories often do not come with morals; this is just a bunch of stuff that happened. But if this were an August Wilson drama, and if the curtain were to fall around now, the lesson might be that our politicians — no matter how well-meaning — are not the answer to the riddle of reclaiming and strengthening African-American culture don’t stop believin’.

RELATED: They talked about Lower Hill redevelopment at City Planning today; I heard it clarified that the Community Collaboration and Implementation Plan will be “referred to,” more so than “followed.” And you should probably vote today.

3 thoughts on “Dollar Bank Holds the August Wilson Center (to keep it warm…)

  1. David Passmore

    This stunt leaves the creditors holding an empty bag, which really is unjust. You have to wonder who will provide services to the Center going forward, and what sort of payment terms they’d have to be given. I hope this is the best thing in the overall pursuit of an African American cultural center in Pittsburgh, which is something most of us think is a critical necessity…but I really hope a clean break is made from how things were run in the past. Shafting people that have legitimate debts doesn’t seem like a step towards sound operations.

    1. bramr101 Post author

      That debt owed to that security company hasn’t been taken into account? Maybe it still can be… I hadn’t thought of that. We know the debts to Dollar and IATSE workers are settled.

      1. Anonymous

        There are still about $1,000,000 of debts unpaid. The big question is this. Will we hold our leaders accountable? If this fails, and the center does not succeed, or if it turns into a commercial venue anyway, then will we hold these politicians accountable for dumping more public money into the AWC? I’m ok with letting elected officials make decisions, that is why we elect them, but then they need to be held to account.

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