Mortgage reassigned on South Campus property


Photo credit/ Caitlin Ryerson

The property, bought by the Jarrett Yoder Foundation in 2021, has received a new loan servicer.

The Jarett Yoder Foundation has a new loan servicer for the property it bought from Marywood in 2021.

According to an Assignment of Mortgage without Recourse in the Lackawanna County Recorder of Deeds online database, the mortgage was reassigned to 1801 Jefferson LLC, a domestic limited-liability corporation formed five days before the transfer of the mortgage on August 31, 2022.

The address associated with the firm is 502 S. Blakely St. in Dunmore, according to the Pennsylvania Department of State.

Before the reassignment of mortgage, Marywood University was listed as the “lender” in the mortgage document, originally signed on Mar. 9, 2021. The reassignment was processed with a nominal $1 fee.

Representatives from neither the Yoder Foundation nor 1801 Jefferson, LLC could be reached for comment. University President Sr. Mary Persico, IHM, Ed.D., who signed the mortgage document, declined to comment via an email from her executive assistant, as did Mary Theresa Gardier-Paterson, Esq., Secretary of the University and General Counsel for Marywood.

In 2021, the Yoder Foundation purchased South Campus for $650,000. The sale included all acreage and all nine buildings. While the bulk of the property is in Scranton, one building and some of the acreage is in Dunmore.

The foundation’s vision was to turn the property into a veteran’s resource center and have Valhalla Veterans Services onsite to provide veterans counseling services. The foundation had a ribbon-cutting on Mar. 9, 2021 to commemorate the purchase.

While it appears some renovations have been made to the building on 1800 N. Washington Ave., the property remains vacant.

Representatives from Valhalla Veterans Services were unable to be reached for comment.

Property History

According to a 2017 Wood Word article, university administration purchased the former Scranton School for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing for $500,000 in 2011. Originally, Marywood planned to renovate the buildings and then house various graduate and clinical programs there before deciding to sell in 2015.

At that time, former Vice President for Business Affairs and Treasurer Joseph X. Garvey said the decision to sell was partially due to the administration deciding to move forward with constructing the Learning Commons, Marywood’s new library and classroom facility with multimedia technology as well as office and meeting spaces.

South Campus then sat vacant for three years before Urban Smart Growth, a Los-Angeles based developer, signed an “option and purchase” agreement with Marywood on Jan. 3 2018. This agreement allowed the business 13 months to explore plans and decide if they would ultimately purchase the property.

Urban Smart Growth’s plans included amenities like a community event space, apartments and a restaurant. Pushback from the Green Ridge Neighborhood Association eventually led to the firm abandoning its planned purchase. The 8.5 acre property was then back on the market and remained so for another year before another potential buyer expressed interest in 2020.

That buyer was Jessica Lark, the CEO and founder of The Turning Page, a photography company. Lark planned to turn the space into The Elysian Sanctuary, a wellness facility where Marywood students might fulfill their practicum or internship hours. Those plans were never realized.

Emma Rushworth and Ellen Frantz contributed to this report.

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