Plans in the works for old county office building

July 17, 2013
Plans are being made to rehabilitate the old county office building in Waynesburg into apartments. The project, which will be reviewed by the Waynesburg Zoning Hearing Board, calls for converting the more than 100-year-old building into 28 apartments.

WAYNESBURG – Plans are in the works to renovate the old county office building in Waynesburg and to convert it into a 28-unit apartment building.

John McNay, the owner of the building, and Martin Padezanin of George Construction Inc. of Coraopolis, have filed an application with the Waynesburg Borough Zoning Hearing Board seeking a variance for the project.

The six-story building, which was constructed in 1906 by the People’s National Bank and is the tallest building in Waynesburg, has been vacant for a number of years.

According to the zoning application, McNay and Padezanin plan to renovate the building at an estimated cost of $2.5 million into four two-bedroom apartments, eight three-bedroom apartments and 16 one-bedroom apartments.

Padezanin, reached Wednesday, said if everything goes as planned he hoped work could begin before the end of the year. The project is expected to take about 18 months to complete.

“Basically, it will be a total interior rehab, a total building rehab,” Padezanin said. A lot of work will have to be done but the building, “structurally, is in really good shape.”

The building was constructed with a steel structure, concrete floors and double brick exterior face, he said. Most of the work that will have to be completed will be on the building’s interior, Padezanin said.

The property is zoned B-1 for business use. An apartment, or multi-family dwelling, is a permitted use in a B-1 district. However, McNay and Padezanin will need a variance from the zoning board for parking.

The zoning ordinance would require the building have at least 42 parking spaces, said Bruce Wermlinger, borough manager. Not enough property exists at the site to provide that many spaces, he said.

Wermlinger said one idea that has been discussed is for the McNay and Padezanin to lease available parking spaces in the borough parking lot on Strawberry Street, about a block away. A variance would still be needed under that arrangement because according to the ordinance the spaces must be within 50 feet of the building.

The zoning board will consider the variance application at its meeting at 7 p.m. Aug. 5.

After some brick fell off the building last summer, forcing the closing of North Church Street, borough council voted to take legal action against McNay if something wasn’t done with the building. Wermlinger said action against McNay was delayed because people had expressed interest in the building.

The building was constructed by the Peoples National Bank and opened in August 1907. After the bank closed, the building was sold to the county, which used it as an office building from 1952 to 1989. It was sold to McNay in 1994. In 2009, a contractor proposed purchasing the building and converting it into offices. The project, however, was never realized.

Bob Niedbala worked as a general assignment reporter for the newspaper for 27 years in the Greene County bureau. He received a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Pittsburgh.

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