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Hatboro Sells Wachovia Bank Building

Hatboro Federal plans to relocate administration offices to the facility following six to eight months of construction.

After to sell the borough-owned former Wachovia Bank building, the Hatboro Borough Council on Monday voted to approve its $500,000 sale.

’ offer was $50,000 less than the borough had requested and roughly $300,000 shy of the borough’s original $800,000 purchase price in 2009, according to Councilman John Zygmont.

Yet, Zygmont contends the borough "really broke about even."

"We divided the parcel in two and retained a municpal lot," Zygmont said. "The appraised value of the lot when we bought was $400,000."

Zygmont, who serves on Hatboro Federals’ board, recused himself from voting on Monday and said he’s also recused himself at the bank as well.

“The good thing is it’s going to be going back on the tax rolls,” Zygmont said after the meeting. He said when the building was functional as a Wachovia Bank branch it generated a combined $25,000 in school and local taxes.

On Tuesday morning Hatboro Federal's President and CEO Joseph J. Tryon, Jr. said the bank planned to move its administration offices, as well as its boardroom to the former Wachovia Bank building. In addition, some of the people working in the branch on York Road - one of four Hatboro Federal locations - would be relocated there, he said. 

Tryon said the transition is expected to occur in the next six to eight months, following construction. 

"The facility is not inhabitable at the present time," Tryon said, noting that painting, papering, interior maintenance and a general cleanup were needed. 

The intent is to "keep the appearance" of the former Wachovia Bank, Tryon said, adding that Hatboro Federal is "noted for the attractive buildings we have."

"We, as Hatboro Federal, we’re growing and we’re getting stronger and stronger every day," Tryon said. "We certainly wish to make our presence in Hatboro."

When asked if the revenue from the real estate sale could help plug a projected  Zygmont said the Hatboro Borough Authority - the entity tasked with overseeing the $5 million generated from the sale of the borough’s water company - wanted its money back. Zygmont said the authority chipped in $400,000, along with a $360,000 county grant, to aid in the borough’s purchase of the shuttered bank.

The realtor’s 6 percent commission – totaling $30,000 – is to be subtracted from the $500,000 purchase price, Council President Marianne Reymer said, meaning the borough will realize a return of $470,000 for a property and 150-space parking lot it had bought for $800,000. The borough will retain 100 parking spaces and the remaining 50 to 60 will become property of Hatboro Federal.

Hatboro’s attorney, Mike Savona, said Hatboro Federal expects to settle on the property on or before Dec. 16. As part of the agreement the council approved, Hatboro Federal would pay a 1 percent transfer tax; would accept that the building is being sold “as is” and would come with no warranties; and would update the contract to reflect the proper tax identification number, according to Savona.

“Fantastic idea,” resident Ron Battis said. “Let’s get rid of it.”

Councilwoman Aleta Ostrander seemed to disagree in that she abstained from voting.

“I do not feel comfortable with this transaction,” Ostrander said.

Denise November 29, 2011 at 12:30 PM
Can you tell us how it is going to be used?
Tara November 29, 2011 at 12:49 PM
I assumed from article Hatboro Federal Savings purchased it so it would still be a bank? Did I miss something?
Theresa Katalinas (Editor) November 29, 2011 at 02:52 PM
Hi Denise, I have a call into Hatboro Federal to find out for sure and hope to post an update soon.
Tom Sofield November 29, 2011 at 04:12 PM
I'm glad to hear the building will be occupied and not just sitting there empty.
John November 29, 2011 at 08:45 PM
Does the Boro have to pay any of the money back to the county?
Bill Tompkins November 29, 2011 at 09:53 PM
The borough kept more than the portion that the county grant was originally intended for, so we should be OK with the county.
Toni Kistner November 30, 2011 at 01:46 AM
So glad they are going to preserve at least the appearance of the building. It is one of the architectural treasures that are unique to Hatboro.
John November 30, 2011 at 03:26 AM
So we paid $4,000. per parking spot. That seems steep.
website mess March 22, 2012 at 01:07 AM
Since Zygmont and his GOP pals took control of council no meeting minutes have been posted to the boro website. If you want to look at the minutes then call borough hall so Zygmont can track who you are.

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