Indiana, PA - Indiana County

S.W. Jack building up for sale for $4 million

by SAM KUSIC skusic@indianagazette.net on November 17, 2013 2:00 AM

A prominent office building in downtown Indiana has gone up for sale.

The S.W. Jack building, the half at 43 S. Ninth St., is listed for $4 million — $91.79 per square foot — through CBRE in Pittsburgh.

The firm declined to discuss the listing. But according to its website, the five-story, 43,577-square-foot building contains four apartments, which are under lease, and an upscale fifth-floor penthouse, aside from office space.

Slightly more than half of the building’s square footage is taken up by offices, which are on the first, second and third floors. That space is partially occupied.

The building is 36 years old, but was renovated in 1992 and has been well-maintained, according to the website.

The building was once the headquarters of S.W. Jack Drilling Co., which, in its time, was a pre-eminent contract driller of oil and natural gas wells. But as the industry landscape changed and more emphasis was placed on the deeper and more challenging shale gas wells, the company decided to sell off its assets and exited the business in 2010.

Indiana County property records indicate the building is owned by Christine Toretti’s Palladio LLC and a family trust. Toretti is the daughter of the late Sam Jack Jr. She took over the business following her father’s death in 1990.

The building has a smaller next-door sister building at 57 S. Ninth St. It was sold for $1 million to developer Chris Evans’ Mystic Brooke Development in 2010.

When — and for how much — the other side sells remains to be seen.

Indiana broker Doug Lockard, of Kuzneski & Lockard Inc., said the demand for owned and leased office space remains soft following the recession. And although the market is starting to firm up in urban and suburban areas, that’s not proving to be the case in rural areas, he said.

Lockard said there is not much data available about local commercial real estate deals, so he couldn’t speak to the level of activity specifically in Indiana.

But, he said, the Jack building is a high-quality property and would be considered Class A space no matter where in southwestern Pennsylvania it was, including in Pittsburgh.

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