A deserted and crumbling former bank building, which was once one of downtown Uniontown’s most prominent structures, could be headed for tax sale, according to the Fayette County Tax Claim Bureau.
The former First Niagara Bank building, previously the National City Bank building and Gallatin National Bank building at 2 W. Main St. has seemingly been abandoned by its owners, Royal Sumatra Holding Company LLC.
The company, according to a “Notice of Return and Claim” posted on the building by the Fayette County Tax Claim Bureau, owes more than $50,000 in back taxes.
According to Sarah Minnick, director of the county’s tax claim bureau, the property is heading to the county’s repository of unsold properties.
“The building went to the free-and-clear sale last month and did not sell. It will be listed on our repository list in a few months,” said Minnick.
According to the county website, “Any property not sold at judicial sale will be listed in the County Repository for Unsold Properties. Repository properties are sold free and clear of all tax and municipal claims, mortgages, liens except ground rents and possibly IRS Liens, if any.”
Back in January, the building, which was once brimming with tenants, was nearly empty due to safety and operational concerns, like imposed and threatened utility shut-offs.
The building, according to the Fayette County Assessment Office, spans nearly 130,000 square feet and was built in 1930.
Royal Sumatra received a $1.5 million loan in 2007 from National City Bank, which assigned documents related to the loan to First Niagara Funding LLC in 2009. In 2016, First Niagara merged into KeyBank National Association. In June 2018, KeyBank filed a complaint against Royal Sumatra alleging it had defaulted on the 2007 loan.
In June 2018, a shutoff notice from Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania indicated the company was nearly $14,000 behind in gas payments. Also in June, tenants received notices that rents and all other money owed to Royal Sumatra should be paid directly to KeyBank. That notice was later rescinded and tenants were told to continue making payments to Royal Sumatra.
Repeated attempts to contact Royal Sumatra have been unsuccessful.
According to the notice, the owner must pay the back taxes by July 1, 2020 or make a legal challenge to the tax claim. If not, the property could be sold at a fraction of the fair market value.