Nonprofit Takes Title to Aspinwall Marina

Aspimwall Herald
12 October 2011
By Mary Ann Thomas

After area residents netted $2.3 million in a whirlwind, six-month fundraising campaign, the nonprofit Friends of the Riverfront now is the owner of Aspinwall Marina.

Susan Crookston, the borough resident who spearheaded the purchase of the 8-acre marina along the Allegheny River to turn it into a waterfront park, confirmed the sale on Tuesday. The real -estate deal closed on Thursday and Friday, according to Crookston and David Kushon, now the former marina owner.

"It's really incredible the fact that people from every walk of life came together to make this happen," Crookston said. "We have so many people to be grateful to."

From lemonade stands to country club soirees to foundation appeals, area residents pushed to raise money to buy the marina -- the only available piece of waterfront property in the borough.

Crookston started planning for the purchase in September after she learned that UPMC St. Margaret wanted to buy the marina, which had been on the market, to turn it into a parking lot.

She spent months planning and approached the Friends of the Riverfront to serve as the agent for the property deal.

Among a slew of foundations and residents in the Fox Chapel Area School District who helped raise the $2.3 million, Crookston credits the Fox Chapel District Association as giving the critical $50,000 donation early in the campaign for the hand money needed for the purchase agreement.

Currently, the marina is not open to the public. Marina operations continue with signed leases for winter storage and the 2012 boating season, according Kushon, whose family has owned the marina for decades.

Crookston and others are working on plans to develop the site into a park.

"I'm very proud to say that my family has been part of this community and hopefully we can have a legacy in their park," Kushon said.

Mary Ann Thomas can be reached at or 412-782-2121 x1510.