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Identity & Community

Judge Approves August Wilson Center Sale To NY Firm

A judge has approved plans to sell the bankrupt August Wilson Center for African American Culture to a New York developer that wants to put a hotel on top of the downtown Pittsburgh building.

Judge Lawrence O'Toole signed an interim order Tuesday that will allow 980 Liberty Partners to study whether the 200-room hotel is feasible. Liberty Partners had previously bid $9.5 million for the property, but the sale isn't final yet.

Attorney General Kathleen Kane and Mayor Bill Peduto objected to the proposed sale, partly because the center was built using significant public funding.

The center is named in honor of the late Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright. It opened in 2009 and hosted jazz concerts, dance, films and other cultural events, but was hampered by construction costs and poor attendance.

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