Sale of Hyatt Regency Hotel at Pittsburgh airport would add property to tax rolls

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The Hyatt Regency Hotel at Pittsburgh International Airport is close to being sold in a deal that would put the property on the tax rolls for the first time since it opened 13 years ago.

The Allegheny County Airport Authority board today terminated its lease with the Dauphin County General Authority, the longtime owner of the hotel. It replaced that agreement with a new ground lease with MHF PIT IV LLC, an affiliate of Magna Hospitality Group of Warwick, R.I.

MHF reached an agreement with the Dauphin authority last summer to buy the 336-room hotel for $44.5 million.

The Dauphin authority has owned the hotel since 2000, but its time at the helm has been marred by its inability to make payments in lieu of taxes to the county, Findlay and the West Allegheny School District. It had agreed to do so because, since it was a government authority, the property was tax-exempt.

The tab for the payment in lieu of taxes the Dauphin authority owed is $9.2 million.

Under the new deal, MHF has agreed to pay a lump sum to settle that matter, although the amount is still being negotiated, said Jeffrey Letwin, an airport authority lawyer.

The new owner also will start paying real estate taxes on the property once the sale is completed. That is expected to happen this month.

Mr. Letwin said MHF and the taxing bodies are still trying to work out the assessment on the property.

Mark Belko: or 412-263-1262.

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