Couple Looking to Buy Home Ends Up Owning Whole Town in Pennsylvania

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large home surrounded by trees
Image via Kristian Thacker at The Wall Street Journal.
Riverstone Estate, Foxburg, Pa., the initial purchase that ended up placing ownership of much of the town with a Cleveland couple.

When Cleaveland couple Saji Daniel and Shannon McGauley got an invitation in October 2020 from their neighbor, Dr. Lou Keppler, to visit Foxburg, they thought it would just be a nice daily escape from the city. Katherine Clarke, in The Wall Street Journal, chronicled how it lead to a real-estate buying spree.

The couple did not know that the small town — 90 miles northeast of Pittsburgh — was owned by Keppler’s friend, Dr. Art Steffee. The 86-year-old Steffee had invested millions of dollars into developing Foxburg and was looking to pass the baton.

A few days after their initial visit, Daniel agreed to buy RiverStone Estate, Steffee’s home.

Over the following months, he and McGauley agreed to buy all of Steffee’s holdings in downtown Foxburg. Those acquisitions made them deed holders on multiple local businesses and nearly 50 residential lots.

Since then, they have invested over $500,000 in renovating downtown Foxburg and plan to invest an additional $3 million in the coming years.

They knew the town would not be a money-earner, but they did not mind. Their goal is to get the community thriving again.

“This is a legacy property we can leave for the kids,” said Daniel. “They’ll have it forever and ever. They can say, ‘My dad developed this town.’”

Read more about Foxburg in The Wall Street Journal.

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