Former Podlucky home renovated, listed at $670,000
A former Ligonier Township home of the Podlucky family, whose members were convicted of financial crimes related to their now-defunct beverage company, has been placed on the market for $670,000.
The sprawling 5,350-square foot, Cape Cod-style home at the end of Sunrise Lane was purchased at auction by New Jersey-based investment group Parei Ventures for $192,000 in the spring.
After four months of extensive updates and interior remodeling by Keystone Renovation of New Florence, the two-story, 12-room residence was featured Sunday in an open house by Berkshire Hathaway Home Services.
“The whole house was renovated from top to bottom,” said Amy Kohler of Berkshire Hathaway.
Two of the major alterations occurred in the kitchen and master bedroom, both on the ground level.
“It was redesigned to have a lot more flow to it, to be more user-friendly and accessible,” contractor Eric Riddell said.
In the kitchen, a solid wall was opened up and replaced with an island including a cooktop and free-standing exhaust hood.
A new door directly connects the bedroom and its adjoining bathroom, Riddell said.
“Before, you’d walk through the closet and a little maze to get to the bathroom,” he said.
Built in 1984, the house is well-constructed, Riddell said, adding, “Everything is overbuilt in it, actually.”
Amenities that date from the original construction include radiant heating in the basement floor, separate wells for drinking water and irrigation, and
600 amps of electrical service — three times the power needed for the average home.
In the basement, Riddell added a granite-topped wet bar and a 12-person sauna room. The sauna, custom-built with cedar, adds “a little touch of class,” Riddell said.
“It sets it apart from most of the other homes in the area,” Riddell said.
The house overlooks an adjacent 19-room stone mansion partially built by Greg and Karla Podlucky, whose financial schemes resulted in criminal convictions, prison and the bankruptcy of LeNature’s Beverage Co. in Latrobe.
The building was supposed to have served as a training center for LeNature’s and, according to court documents, reportedly included $800,000 in rare Honduran mahogany, $2 million worth of trim work, seven limestone fireplaces that cost $70,000, six bedrooms and eight bathrooms. An auditorium was equipped with the latest electronic devices.
Podlucky had planned to install an indoor hockey rink and a $7 million swimming pool before the company’s financial collapse.
The architectural firm that designed the mansion filed suit and eventually took control of the property. According to court records, it was sold to area business owners Ronald Hemminger and Kamee Lear.
Greg Podlucky was sentenced to 20 years in prison for swindling LeNature’s investors out of more than $629 million. Last year, the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals denied his petition to withdraw his guilty plea.
Karla Podlucky was convicted along with her son, G. Jesse Podlucky, for hiding assets — $2.9 million in diamonds authorities said were purchased with proceeds of the fraud. She served four years in prison and was released in February 2016.
G. Jesse Podlucky, serving a nine-year sentence, is expected to remain in federal prison until April 2020.
Jeff Himler is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jeff at 724-836-6622, [email protected] or via Twitter @jhimler_news.