AMTRAN exercises option to purchase Roaring River Mills

Thursday, May 1, 2008 | Categories:

AMTRAN has executed their option to purchase the Roaring River Mills property. This is the next step in a year-long process.

The property is currently owned by long-time Altoona businessman, Norman Glucroft, but was originally part of the trolley works for the Altoona & Logan Valley Electric Railway. The price for the entire property including 3 buildings and 3.2 acres is $1,225,000 less the actual cost of any environmental remediation, currently estimated at $200,000. (The sales price is based on an independent appraisal.) The capital-only grants are through the efforts of Congressman Bill Shuster, Senator Arlen Specter, and Senator Bob Casey.

According to AMTRAN Board Chairman Scott Cessna, “There are two reasons for an organization to make a capital investment - to make money or to save money. The Roaring River Mills project will do both for AMTRAN.”

The savings will come through AMTRAN’s plans to utilize the former Gold’s Gym building facing 5th Avenue which had been a trolley barn in the early 1900’s. The transit agency has been experiencing operating inefficiencies due to space constraints at its current facility. Utilization of the new site will enable AMTRAN to store all of its vehicles indoors, save on operating costs, and enhance work flow and maintenance efficiencies.

The revenue will come from the largest part of the property facing 6th Avenue (state route 764) which will be jointly developed by AMTRAN and a private developer to be selected through a competitive procurement process. AMTRAN plans to demolish the Roaring River Mills building shortly after taking title to the property. The private company will redevelop the property fronting 6th Avenue as office, retail, or light industrial depending on what the local market dictates. Through a land-lease with the developer, AMTRAN will receive revenue which can be used for day-to-day operations.

Once AMTRAN has closed on the property, they will begin renovations to the trolley barn that will include meeting and training space for AMTRAN personnel in addition to storage for buses. They will also advertise a Request for Proposals to competitively select a private developer to partner with them on the remainder of the property.