Looking For “Otecko Warbucks”

I needed a diversion today. For the past 3 or 4 weeks, I have been dealing with the “almost sale” of our house in Ocean Pines, Maryland. I am a REALTOR®, and for the past two and a half years I have been trying to sell our home. Judy and I made the decision to sell based on our NEED to be closer to our children in Eastern Pennsylvania. My wife, Judy, was successful, and was able to secure a position in her field, Education Administration, in one of the Wilmington, Delaware school districts. She is very happy in the position and confident that it was the right move. The downside has been the fact that I am still in Ocean Pines, MD trying to sell our home while Judy and my kids are all up in PA. Judy is staying with my youngest daughter for the time being in Coatesville, PA until something happens with our house.

The “almost sale” I referred to earlier, was a solid contract that fell apart when the buyers were scared off by a home inspector. They rescinded their offer, and once again, the house is back on the market. I know there is a butt for every seat in the pew, but I am so antsy about wanting to be with my family, I am getting very discouraged.

IMG_2787editedwebTo get my mind off of the situation, I decided to re-read a report that was tucked away in the top drawer of my nightstand. The report was completed by Impact Economics and Perkins Eastman, both Pittsburgh based consulting firms, and funded by the Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development. It was commissioned by the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Duquesne (RACD) and finalized in 2008. I can’t remember how it happened to end up in that drawer, but nonetheless, every time I open the drawer I am reminded about what “could be” for my hometown. 

The City of Duquesne created the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Duquesne (RACD) in 1996 under the Urban Redevelopment Law. The Urban Redevelopment Law provides for the creation of authorities for the public purposes of acquiring blighted properties to hold or dispose of them so that they may become available for redevelopment. In addition, redevelopment authorities undertake other activities to promote development. 

According to RACD’s website, “The plan prioritizes redevelopment strategies and actions based on an assessment of community assets and opportunities.” 

“It outlines an ambitious but realistic program designed to spur public and private investment in the revitalization of the Duquesne Center of the City (CBD) and the improvement of Duquesne’s “design quality and sense of place”.” 

By browsing through the report, one is able to understand what unlocked potential exists in the City of Duquesne. The pages are jam-packed with current economic conditions, business scenarios, market possibilities and even rendered photos of “what could be!” 

So that you too can enjoy that thrill of Duquesne’s potential, I’ve included a few links and a few photos of what could lie ahead for our hometown and a recap of what the costs might be. 

stanmikita2The greatest challenge is to find a bighearted hunky or group of deep pocketed investors to make all of this happen. Perhaps the descendants of Andrew Carnegie would be open to considering another “gift” to the City of Duquesne? Perhaps someone could convince someone, such as actor Jeff Goldblum, who grew up in West Homestead and graduated from West Mifflin North High School in 1970, to donate the money to the city! A Telethon or perhaps a nationwide bake sale??? 

In any event, once we find this person….be sure to tell them about my house! Maybe they would like to buy it too!!!! LOL 

Enjoy the report. To view or print the report, click on the link below. Also, I have included the link to the Redevelopment Authority of Duquesne!

Click here for full report

Redevelopment Authority of Duquesne Website

What it will cost

What it will cost

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11 Responses to Looking For “Otecko Warbucks”

  1. Barry Long says:

    Duquesne has not only changed, the PEOPLE have changed.


    Hello: I am Emil and Chuckie Skalicky eldest sister. I live in Lutherville, am a realtor with Long & Foster. My friend George sold his place in Ocean Pines last summer and
    Is now in Charles(Senior home). I enjoy the Duquesne Hunky since I have been away since 1954 but do go back for holidays, etc. since we still have family in the area.
    I am also on Facebook. Listings are beginning to move so you should be getting some action soon. Good Luck, Cecelia@lnF.com

  3. Judy Kray Lochner says:

    I cried. Recently went back “Home” to see the city. Oh My Gosh. What has happened to a community that took pride in its homes and streets.The town looked like a war zone. Our parents are turning over in their graves. Shame on the people of Duquesne. No excuse for this..

    • Jim says:

      Judy, I know how it is shocking to see Duquesne as it is now, but there are still wonderful reminders of the town that used to be. There are still so many folks living there that still love the city and would love to see a rebirth. As unrealistic as it seems, I still hang onto the hope that maybe someday things will change for the better. One can always hope.

  4. C Pobojeski says:

    Someone made a huge mistake and tore down the Carnegie Library years ago.. WHY? Wasn’t it a historic monument? I doubt Carnegie’s descendants would be interested after that!!

    • Jim says:

      You are probably correct! So, what did actually happen to the Duquesne Carnegie Free Library?

      In the 1960s, the Duquesne library was sold to the school district for one dollar. Shortly after taking control of he Carnegie Free Library of Duquesne, the Duquesne City School District razed the structure, in June of 1968, to make-way for a school district annex (possibly a new gymnasium for the high school, located across the street). However, when the school district learned that the construction of a such an annex would result in a partial loss of state funding, the project was quickly dropped. Thirteen 1970s-era split-level houses now occupy the former library property, a cul-de-sac named “Library Place.”

  5. Harold West says:

    Great post as usual. The report has a lot of good information. Unfortunately it was released just as the rest of the country was entering the great recession. The RIDC now looks to be the largest property holder in Duquesne.

  6. sharyn manns says:

    Jim, sad to see what could(&should’ve been done for Duquesne) -the present situation is so bad. But, was surprised to learn you live in Ocean Pines. There’s another “Duquesner” there: Wm & Lorraine Nickerson, she is the daughter of Lawrence Manns, the older of the brothers that had Manns Bros. grocery store on Aurilles St. A little late since you’re trying so hard to get out of there, but it is a beautiful place & I’m sure you’ll find a buyer soon.

    • Jim says:

      Sharyn, thanks so much for the information about the Nickersons! I will still be in the are for quite a while, so I will be sure to contact them. I already found their phone number and address, and will have to introduce myself!

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