GREENSBURG (October 24) The Board of Directors of the Westmoreland County Land Bank today announced the purchase of the former Monsour Hospital property located in the City of Jeannette. The 6.7- acre site has been abandoned since 2006 and poses a significant health and safety hazard. The acquisition serves as a catalyst for Westmoreland County’s effort to redevelop the property and ready it for reuse.
The Westmoreland County Commissioners created the Land Bank -an entity designed to target abandoned and tax-foreclosed properties that threaten public health and safety- for these types of impact projects. The City of Jeannette is a participating member of the Land Bank and a valued partner that positioned the property for a judicial sale by appealing the site’s tax-exempt status in 2010. Today’s purchase was a result of a free and clear judicial sale of the property.
“The Land Bank is a tool that will ultimately return properties to the tax rolls”, said Commissioner Charles Anderson. “It is a vehicle to address distressed properties like the abandoned Monsour Hospital. The partnership between the county’s Industrial Development Corporation and the Land Bank will ensure success in redeveloping this site.”
The county’s Industrial Development Corporation will serve as project manager for the redevelopment of the site and is working to secure the estimated $2 million needed for site clearance. The county has committed $500,000 toward remediating and demolishing the remaining buildings, and redeveloping the site.
“Through the efforts of our newly formed land bank, the city of Jeannette and the county, we have been able to address a property that has negatively represented a gateway into Westmoreland County. We can now begin the heavy lifting of removing this structure and making the property a productive piece of real estate for our community. The collaboration of all the parties involved creates an opportunity to bring together expertise and funding with strategy and vision.” said Commissioner Tyler Courtney.
The Industrial Development Corporation’s general plan and timeline for work should begin with the next 60 days.
According to Commissioner Ted Kopas, “The people of Jeannette have suffered with this eyesore for far too long. Today marks a milestone in our efforts to rid the area of this hazard once and for all.”