Briefs: Cork Factory Complex Finally Being Occupied
After two decades of trying by a series of developers, the former Armstrong Cork factory site in the Strip District is now being occupied by apartment dwellers. The first tenants moved in Wednesday and by the end of the month, nearly 50 units are expected to be occupied, said Debbie Roberts, general manager of the Cork Factory, a 295-unit complex on Railroad Street, between 23rd and 24th Streets. When completed, the $60 million complex will consist of new retail shops on the first level, a 440-car parking garage, plus a river walk and marina. The complex will offer one- two- and three- bedroom apartments, plus a fitness center, pool and hot tub, and a business center. Robert Beynon, owner of Beynon & Co., a Pittsburgh- based real estate and insurance company, and Charles Hammel III, owner of the Pitt-Ohio Express trucking company in the Strip, purchased the complex nearly 10 years ago, but it was only when McCaffery & Associates of Chicago, joined them in 2004 as a partner, that the project finally got started.
Brewery insurance OKd
Pittsburgh Brewing Co. on Thursday was granted permission by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge M. Bruce McCullough to finance $117,762 of its $157,666 worth of insurance premiums. Bank Direct Capital Finance LLC of Lake Forest, Ill., will provided the financing in return for Pittsburgh Brewing making nine monthly payments of $13,510. The one- year policies, which take effect today, provide coverage for the brewery property, general liability, vehicles and pollution. Attorney John Lacher, representing Pittsburgh Brewing, said the brewery has financed its insurance policies in the past. Jack Cerone, a minority owner of Pittsburgh Brewing, whose loan agreement with the brewery requires it carry insurance coverage, supports the request, said Donald Calaiario, Cerone's attorney. The Lawrenceville brewery said in a court filing it would close if it did not get approval to finance the insurance premiums.
Skilling to report Dec. 12
Former Enron Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Skilling, convicted of fraud and conspiracy in the biggest corporate scandal in U.S. history, was ordered to report next month to a low-security federal prison in Minnesota. Skilling received the harshest punishment of all Enron executives when he was sentenced on Oct. 23 to 24 years and four months. The former chief executive officer will be eligible to shave up to 54 days a year off his sentence for good behavior in prison. U.S. District Judge Sim Lake, in a one-sentence order made public Wednesday, ordered Skilling to surrender by 3 p.m. Dec. 12 to the federal prison in Waseca, Minn.
Equitable talks progress
Equitable Resources Thursday continued discussions with a group of "public advocates" that object to the company's proposed acquisition of Dominion Peoples Natural Gas Co. of Pittsburgh and Dominion Hope Gas Co. of Clarksburg, W.Va. "Substantial progress" has been made in reaching settlements with the Mon Valley Unemployed Committee, the state Office of Consumer Advocate, the state's Office of Small Business Advocate and the Office of Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission Trial Staff, along with State Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Downtown, said Wheatley's attorney, Renardo Hicks. The three-day hearing into the planned acquisition is scheduled to conclude today at the State Office Building, Downtown.
Refunds worth $92 million
Nearly 100,000 taxpayers are missing out on income tax refunds because the checks sent by the Internal Revenue Service were returned as undeliverable. The IRS said Thursday that the average refund for the 95,746 taxpayers whose checks were returned was $963. The checks, worth $92.2 million, can be claimed as soon as the owners update their addresses with the agency. The IRS directed people who never got expected checks to the "Where's My Refund?" site on its home page, www.irs.gov. They can also call 1-800-829- 1954. …