Dollar Bank moves to foreclose on August Wilson Center


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The August Wilson Center for African American Culture in Downtown Pittsburgh is facing foreclosure.

In a complaint filed Thursday in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court, Dollar Bank is seeking to recover $7 million owed on the center's mortgage.

The bank also is asking the court to appoint a receiver -- the Baker Young Corporation -- to manage and maintain the property.

In the petition requesting the appointment, the bank alleged that the August Wilson Center has failed to maintain the property and has failed to provide adequate insurance for it even as it continues to operate.

"In so doing, the defendant risked substantial loss to the mortgaged property, injury to any persons which may have been involved in such loss, and injury to value of the lender's liens and security interests therein, all without recourse because the defendant is insolvent," according to the petition.

In the foreclosure complaint, Dollar Bank stated that the center failed to make a monthly mortgage installment payment of $53,639 on Feb. 1 and has not made any installment payments since.

No date has been set for a sheriff sale as of yet.

Oliver Byrd, the center's interim president and CEO, could not be immediately reached for comment.

The center has been plagued by financial problems for years. In May, the center laid off staff members in a bid to keep the $40 million facility operating amid a nonexistent revenue stream, fundraising shortfalls, and loans to be paid. Mr. Byrd said at the time that fewer than a dozen staffers were involved.

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Mark Belko: mbelko@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1262.


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