Pittsburgh City Council on Tuesday approved a plan for the city to buy the building that houses the West End Healthy Active Living Center.
The building at 80 Wabash St. in the city’s West End Village has been home to the senior center for 21 years. It will continue serving as a senior center after the city buys the property.
“It’s important to the community and the surrounding neighborhood,” Council President Theresa Kail-Smith said, thanking the administration and council members for buying the property in her district.
Over the past two decades, the city has had a $60,000 annual lease with Smith & Bowen, which owns the building. Now, the city will buy the property for $344,000, plus acquisition costs, which bring the total cost to the city to $374,000. City officials have estimated the lease payments would pay for the property within about six years.
The property owners had been considering selling the building, Kail-Smith has said, sparking concerns that a sale could mean instability for community programs or a potential relocation that could force some people to have to travel longer distances for such services.
By buying the property, she said, the city is ensuring stability for the residents who use it.
The site serves hundreds of seniors, offering an array of programming ranging from senior meals and crocheting to workshops and exercise activities.
The Department of Public Works will partner with the Department of Parks and Recreation — which manages the city’s senior centers — to renovate the building over the next several years so it can expand senior programming.
City Council passed the measure unanimously.