W-B Reaches $2M Deal To Sell Parkade
WILKES-BARRE — Mayor Tony George’s administration has negotiated a deal to sell the Park & Lock East parkade for $2 million.
A resolution authorizing city officials to enter into a sales agreement with Washington & Market Street Properties LLC is on the council’s April 24 work session agenda, which the city clerk released Thursday.
The parkade is located on the northwest corner of North Washington and East Market streets. It’s heavily used some evenings by patrons attending events and shows at the F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts.
City Administrator Ted Wampole said the principles of Washington & Market Street Properties own the building on East Market Street and Public Square that is adjacent to the parkade. Among that building’s tenants is Geisinger Health Plan.
Wampole said many of the reserved spaces in the parkade are leased for Geisinger employees. He referred questions about use of the parkade to attorney Frank Hoegen, who negotiated with the city on behalf of the building owners.
Asked whether the new owners would continue to allow public parking at the parkade if council approves the sale, Hoegen said he had not discussed that issue with his clients.
But, Hoegen said, his clients would be attending Tuesday’s council work session and could answer that and other questions posed at that time. He declined to name his clients on Wednesday.
According to Luzerne County property assessment records, the adjacent property that houses Geisinger Health Plan is owned by Martin Mariano and Antonio Rado, with a mailing address of RAM Buildings in Bloomsburg.
County property records also show that the parkade has an assessed value of $3.6 million. However, Wampole said a recent appraisal conducted by Rosen Real Estate valued the property at only $1.55 million.
Wampole said that if council approves the sale, about $300,000 of the revenue will be used to satisfy a lien on the property.
He said administration officials will discuss with officials from PFM — the city’s financial management adviser — how the city should use the remaining $1.7 million.
Some possible uses include paying down some of the city’s debt or shoring up potential revenue shortfalls in the 2018 budget, Wampole said.
The proposed sale comes as DESMAN, a parking consultant company, is conducting an analysis of the city’s parking system at a cost of up to $43,000. The study was to examine city-owned assets, including Park & Lock East, the Conahan Intermodal Transportation Center and downtown parking meters; as well as assets of the Wilkes-Barre Parking Authority, including Park & Lock Central and Park & Lock North.
Wampole said Washington & Market Street representatives expressed an interest in buying the parkade even before the city entered an agreement with DESMAN earlier this year.
He said the $1.1 million line item for sale of city-owned property in the 2018 budget is partially based on an anticipated sale of the parkade.
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