U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Pennsylvania > Northeastern Pennsylvania
 [Register]
Northeastern Pennsylvania Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, Pocono area
Please register to participate in our discussions with 1.5 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
Jump to a detailed profile or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Business Search - 14 Million verified businesses
Search for:  near: 
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 01-18-2011, 10:15 PM
 
Location: Lehighton/Jim Thorpe area
2,095 posts, read 1,349,009 times
Reputation: 1641

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by RestonRunner86 View Post
For those who have difficulty with reading comprehension:

"The Connell Building now houses 89 occupied apartments on the upper floors and will include a commercial-professional mix on the three lower floors. All the apartments were rented within five months of becoming available, and the building has a waiting list of 60 potential tenants, property manager Jessica Kalinoski said."

To verify that this isn't just "fluff" or "spin" I'm "friends" on Facebook with the Connell Lofts, and demand HAS been VERY strong.

I also know of several people who'd be interested in living in Downtown Scranton (or Downtown Wilkes-Barre) if and when the right opportunity beckons to return to NEPA (myself included). Generations X and Y are becoming MUCH more interested in walkable and sustainable living as the years progress, and I predict we'll see this trend heightening as the Millenials age, too. I'd have ZERO interest in living in a McMansion-infested sterile sprawlsville like South Abington Township, Dallas Township, Pittston Township, Mountain Top, Glenmaura, etc. when I relocate back to the region. Being able to live Downtown and have nearly everything I'd need on a day-to-day basis within walking distance is much more important to me. Right now I live within walking distance of Downtown Pittsburgh in an upscale loft for just $550/month. I wouldn't trade this for ANY sidewalk-less cul-de-sac jutting off a road crammed with strip malls.

Like it or not we NEED many more people LIVING Downtown to help sustain a full recovery of the city. Scranton is destined for failure if it has a decrepit Downtown, as what person in their right mind wants to move to a place with a dismal core to show friends/family? Downtown Wilkes-Barre and Downtown Scranton are EACH poised for a vibrant future. Downtown Pittston? Not so much.
RestonRunner, I agree with your assessment of people of our generation wanting to relocate to urban areas with more walkable communities, but I don't see Scranton being very walkable just yet. For groceries and food, the only grocery stores that are in relative walking distance to the downtown area are Redners on 7th Avenue and, IIRC, Weis near the South Side Shopping Center. Certainly there are bars and restaurants, but as pointed out in another thread even the Steamtown Mall is seeing tenants leave. To live anywhere in Scranton one needs to have a car. The city is far from becoming anywhere near the type of walkable neighborhood seen in Philly or Pacific NW cities like Seattle.

I'd love to see it, but first they need to build on the infrastructure and amenities to support it. They are putting the cart before the horse.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 01-19-2011, 09:47 AM
 
Location: Polish Hill, Pittsburgh, PA
26,564 posts, read 47,346,335 times
Reputation: 11441
Quote:
Originally Posted by sues1 View Post
Scranton just won't be what you want it to be. Why don't you move back here now and put your energy into trying to make it what you want instead of talking about it? That would make alot of sense to me, you seen to love Scranton, so come here and make it the trendy, hip city you want.
I don't want all of Scranton to become "hip", "trendy", "yuppified", etc.---just the Downtown core. Part of what I find charming about Scranton (and Pittsburgh for that matter) is that these are decent-sized cities that still feel like small towns with their neighborliness, sense of community, friendly people, etc. It would be a shame for Scranton to lose that to become the next "progressive paradise" where everyone who dwells within them thinks they are God's gift to the world. Pittsburgh is a city with dozens and dozens of distinct neighborhoods, many with their own independent business districts with small movie theaters, old-school drugstores, diners, schools and houses of worship within walking distance, etc. Scranton is the same way (i.e. small business districts in Hyde Park, Green Ridge, Providence, and even struggling South Side come to mind). I don't ever want to see Scranton overrun by the types who wear designer sunglasses on cloudy days while sipping lattes and talking about how "ahead of the curve" they are (cue Arlington, VA or Bethesda, MD). However, right now most of you in Scranton have the "who gives a f*!*" attitude about your Downtown, and that is NOT healthy. Without a vibrant Downtown the rest of the city is going to fail, as potential entrepreneurs and companies looking to expand are NOT going to want to invest in a city they don't think is investing in itself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MatildaLoo View Post
RestonRunner, I agree with your assessment of people of our generation wanting to relocate to urban areas with more walkable communities, but I don't see Scranton being very walkable just yet. For groceries and food, the only grocery stores that are in relative walking distance to the downtown area are Redners on 7th Avenue and, IIRC, Weis near the South Side Shopping Center. Certainly there are bars and restaurants, but as pointed out in another thread even the Steamtown Mall is seeing tenants leave. To live anywhere in Scranton one needs to have a car. The city is far from becoming anywhere near the type of walkable neighborhood seen in Philly or Pacific NW cities like Seattle.

I'd love to see it, but first they need to build on the infrastructure and amenities to support it. They are putting the cart before the horse.
This is indeed a "chicken or the egg" situation. Will enough people move Downtown before necessary amenities exist to justify those amenities coming Downtown too? Who knows? Will enough amenities "take a chance" Downtown and open up, gambling on a larger Downtown population that may or may not materialize? Who knows? Scranton's neighborhoods offer nothing unique about them, for the most part, to justify the 3.4% wage tax when compared to similar working-class neighborhoods in Dunmore, Old Forge, Moosic, Taylor, or even more distressed places like Pittston or Carbondale for that matter. However, Downtown Scranton is the largest urban core in the region (albeit I believe more people work in Downtown Wilkes-Barre), and living amid high-rises, coffeehouses, boutiques, restaurants, bars, parades/events, workplaces, etc. IS unique enough to justify the wage tax for some people. If enough people move Downtown and start paying the wage tax (and many of those people moving Downtown are probably white-collar and will be paying a tidy sum into the city's coffers), then the city can justify LOWERING the wage tax to spur growth in other city neighborhoods and to lessen the burden on already over-taxed property owners.

Right now I'm curious as to how Council President "Messiah Janet" plans to keep her promises of slashing taxes while keeping the public safety budget intact without risking the Doomers seeing through her as being a typical grand-standing Scranton politician who is merely using her position to spite the mayor. I could have warned anyone that voting for her to "save" the city was a bad idea, as I saw right through her weekly "acts" at meetings, but nobody listened. I would have much rather had wet-behind-the-ears 18-year-old Doug Miller as council president because then at least the youth of the city would have a voice (Pat Rogan notwithstanding).
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-19-2011, 10:14 AM
 
Location: Drama Central
4,084 posts, read 5,866,954 times
Reputation: 1849
Quote:
Originally Posted by RestonRunner86 View Post
I would have much rather had wet-behind-the-ears 18-year-old Doug Miller as council president because then at least the youth of the city would have a voice (Pat Rogan notwithstanding).

Youth of the city? Oh please. Doug Miller is an idiot and a child....

You want to revive the core of the city, then get the business taxes lowered so that a business can survive in the downtown. The turnover rate is alarming and they open and close some with in their first year.

You can build all the condos and lofts that you want in the downtown, that will not ever be enough to lure a business into the downtown when they have to pay the inflated business taxes that are levied on a business in Scranton.

Seriously have you not wondered or at least though about why most of the successful business in this area is just over the borders of Scranton in Dickson City and Moosic or the industrial parks of Archbald and Jessup?

Sure the new Connell building is rented, but the 500 block is empty, the lofts on Linden are not even close to full and the Med school is buying up house after house surrounding its campus for housing, so how many units do we really need in the city?

How many more of these projects are going to be built for profit using taxpayer funds that don't have to paid back?

Scranton WILL NEVER BE THE CITY YOU ENVISION because the greed and self-indulgence of our local polticians will make sure that they bleed it dry for their benefit while leaving the mess for everyone else.

While I'm not a huge Janet supporter you can not argue that under Doherty and his council control the city ran its debt upwards of $350,000,000 in long term debt after starting with a $7,000,000 surplus when he took office. He also managed to get our ANNUAL DEBT SERVICE PAYMENT up to $16,000,000 a year is just debt payments.


If you want to change the city to suit your vision then come home and move to Scranton and do something about it, otherwise its nothing but baseless chatter from a Pittsburgh resident.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-19-2011, 01:22 PM
 
Location: Suburbs of DC
225 posts, read 174,078 times
Reputation: 161
Notice no one debates you on the Connell Building.


Did anyone ever check on those windows??/
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-19-2011, 01:54 PM
 
996 posts, read 336,302 times
Reputation: 440
Wow

facts are amazing thangs.......
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-19-2011, 01:58 PM
 
Location: Polish Hill, Pittsburgh, PA
26,564 posts, read 47,346,335 times
Reputation: 11441
Quote:
Originally Posted by weluvpa View Post
Youth of the city? Oh please. Doug Miller is an idiot and a child....
I believe you're being a bit harsh calling him an "idiot." Granted I never met him person, and he did seem very sanctimonious and superior when he'd grandstand at the city council podium while serving as president of Scranton's Junior City Council; however, he DID seem to have a lot of passion for the city---a city where many passionate people have moved away from. I'd call him "misguided" or "inexperienced about life", perhaps. I remember he was immature in regards to the junior council's service project with the handicapped-accessible swingset at Nay Aug Park. If I remember correctly there was some sort of "conspiracy" regarding something that was very worthwhile and should NOT have had so much controversy (then again in Scranton even planting an apple tree in your front lawn could take a year of cutting through red tape).

Quote:
Originally Posted by weluvpa View Post
You want to revive the core of the city, then get the business taxes lowered so that a business can survive in the downtown. The turnover rate is alarming and they open and close some with in their first year.
You don't have to hammer this point home to me, Dan. I've made it perfectly clear that the city's wage and mercantile taxes are both oppressive and stifle growth. You and I will never see eye-to-eye about property taxes, though (I don't believe the city's share of your overall tax bill is out-of-line in comparison to neighboring communities). Not to argue in favor of the mayor, but I personally would have prioritized slashing the wage tax FIRST before looking to dole out generous raises to public safety personnel. Do they deserve to be compensated handsomely for what they do? Yes. Wouldn't they be given a "raise", too, though, if their own wage taxes were cut? Yes. The "super majority" had the opportunity to give all 70,000 people a wage tax break (well, technically whatever the exact figure of those in the workforce is anyways), but they instead gave a raise to a few hundred. A better idea would be to have cut administrative pork and instated NEW taxes that would help to shift the burden of operating the city more equitably, using the new proceeds and the cost reductions combined to incrementally reduce the wage tax on a year-to-year basis (perhaps slashing it 0.5% per year until it was down to a more reasonable 1.5%, which is more competitive with many sububrban communities' wage taxes of 1.0%).

Over the years I helped many people "behind the scenes" (via DM) as well as in real life to move to the area, and many who admired my former zeal for revitalizing Scranton said they WOULD have considered the city; however, their ONE largest sticking point was indeed the wage tax. Isn't it better to collect a 1.5% wage tax from a growing tax base than a 3.4% wage tax from a declining tax base? The mercantile taxes are also oppressive, Dan. I understand that. You have a mayor in office who couldn't balance a checkbook to save his life, and you have a city council president in office who is practically a union bedfellow. Sadly, looking back over the past several years I can't think of anyone "visionary" with business acumen who has run for any sort of office in the city. Gary DiBileo may be a nice guy with a great family, but his web site failed to impress me, as it relied only upon feel-good "buzz words" like "lower taxes", "safer streets", "stronger neighborhoods", etc. while offering no depth in terms of him explaining how he'd achieve such goals.

I'm not a "Doobie", Dan. I dislike your mayor, AND I dislike your current idea-stealing (but I digress) council president. I've been out of the area too long to comment more intelligently on Councilmen Loscombe, Rogan, or Joyce; however, they all seem to let Janet do the talking, so I can't even tell IF they have any "vision" themselves. Why don't YOU run for office? Scranton is populated by Doomers who can't stand city governance, but nobody ever seems to have any bravado to actually run themselves to make things better. I KNOW if I moved to Scranton and ran for city council in a few years I could do a great job, but with the great new life I'm building for myself here in Pittsburgh I don't know if I'd even want to return (my parents seem quite fond of Pittsburgh, too, so maybe they'd even move out here as they age so I could help care for them).


Quote:
Originally Posted by weluvpa View Post
You can build all the condos and lofts that you want in the downtown, that will not ever be enough to lure a business into the downtown when they have to pay the inflated business taxes that are levied on a business in Scranton.
Businesses will open up to meet unmet demand in new markets or will expand/relocate to follow their existing customers. NOBODY was living Downtown (besides the impoverished or the elderly) for many years, and many people living in the city's adjacent neighborhoods would rather drive to Dickson City or Moosic to shop/dine than to walk a half-mile or a mile to their own Downtown.

Quote:
Originally Posted by weluvpa View Post
Seriously have you not wondered or at least though about why most of the successful business in this area is just over the borders of Scranton in Dickson City and Moosic or the industrial parks of Archbald and Jessup?
Taxation certainly is a factor, but Scranton's sprawl epidemic with nearly all fresh vitality setting up shop just over the city line is not unique. Look at Wilkes-Barre/Wilkes-Barre Township, for example, and Wilkes-Barre's overall average tax burden is lower than that of Scranton. Wilkes-Barre Township probably has as many businesses as Moosic and Dickson City combined. While Downtown Wilkes-Barre has seen a sudden growth spurt in new Downtown business ventures I'm going to remain "guarded" about the long-term viability of all of them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by weluvpa View Post
Sure the new Connell building is rented, but the 500 block is empty, the lofts on Linden are not even close to full and the Med school is buying up house after house surrounding its campus for housing, so how many units do we really need in the city?
Scranton obviously needs more "mid-priced" housing Downtown. The Connell Building's rents are, in my opinion, "average" for the area, given their amenities and location. I'm inclined to think the Renaissance at 500 project and the Lofts on Linden are more $$$. Grad students, young professionals just entering the workforce after college, etc. don't have a lot of discretionary income to toss around on a high-priced unit, and I don't (yet) foresee anyone trading in their digs in Waverly or Glenmaura for a penthouse on Spruce Street. The Connell Building, despite what naysayers may think, IS a proven success---fully rented within five months with a waiting list. This Chamber Building project will be similarly-priced and -appointed, which to me indicates that waiting list will be absorbed here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by weluvpa View Post
How many more of these projects are going to be built for profit using taxpayer funds that don't have to paid back?
The problem, Dan, is that while construction costs may be similar to build a project like the Renaissance at 500 in either Scranton or Seattle, a private developer will NOT be financially viable in getting a return on their investment (ROI) in Scranton due to lower real estate values. For example, if a private developer were to build such a project in Seattle, they may be able to charge $1,500/month rents for a 1-BR apartment. A similar project in Scranton might net $750/month rents, which means a developer is making only half the income per unit while outlaying the same investment and having similar monthly overhead for utilities, maintenance, taxes, etc. Many expensive national trends popular with homeowners (i.e. granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, hardwood flooring) are just as expensive to supply here, yet you can't charge as much for such a unit here and expect to find buyers/renters. This is why, like it or not, if you want more mixed-use projects to come Downtown, they WILL probably have to be at least partially funded publicly.


Quote:
Originally Posted by weluvpa View Post
Scranton WILL NEVER BE THE CITY YOU ENVISION because the greed and self-indulgence of our local polticians will make sure that they bleed it dry for their benefit while leaving the mess for everyone else.
Not EVERY politician is a self-serving sleaze, though. I know several upstanding city council members here in Pittsburgh who'd put Janet Evans, Sherry Fannucci, or Bob McGoff to shame. You just need to "clean house" in Scranton. You need to find politicians who don't care about using their offices as "stepping stones" for higher office. You need to find people who aren't out to be the "big fish in a little pond". Janet obviously has her eyes on higher office (likely mayorship and probably eventually higher than that). We all know Chris Doherty has been aching for higher office. You need someone to run who actually cares about the city more than their OWN careers.


Quote:
Originally Posted by weluvpa View Post
While I'm not a huge Janet supporter you can not argue that under Doherty and his council control the city ran its debt upwards of $350,000,000 in long term debt after starting with a $7,000,000 surplus when he took office. He also managed to get our ANNUAL DEBT SERVICE PAYMENT up to $16,000,000 a year is just debt payments.
I'm not "excusing" Doherty, Dan. I don't support him. I also don't support Janet. What has she done thus far to wipe out his debt? She's given hefty pay increases to public safety personnel and has slashed administrative salaries so severely that you'll have difficulty attracting (and retaining) QUALITY candidates. Wilkes-Barre's mayor earns an $80,000 salary to govern 30,000 fewer residents for $30,000-$35,000/year MORE than what Scranton's mayor earns. The result? Wilkes-Barre's mayor is NOT inept. Wilkes-Barre has a balanced budget, a slightly lower wage and mercantile tax burden than Scranton, a sky-high credit/bond rating, and is seeing generous Downtown revitalization (most of which is NOT via public subsidization). Sometimes it CAN pay off to pay a little more up-front.

Quote:
Originally Posted by weluvpa View Post
If you want to change the city to suit your vision then come home and move to Scranton and do something about it, otherwise its nothing but baseless chatter from a Pittsburgh resident.
I have my sights on being a "mover and shaker" here in Pittsburgh. I wouldn't have a shot in hell in Scranton's political arena anyways. I'm too sensitive to the point where if someone attacks me I lash back. For all the bashing Doherty gets I admire that he doesn't care. Me? I'd be rebutting or rebuking everything to the point where people would dislike me to the point I'd be unelectable.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-19-2011, 02:32 PM
 
Location: Drama Central
4,084 posts, read 5,866,954 times
Reputation: 1849
Where are these hefty pay increases to public safety personnel? What about the inflated and bloated salaries of the management and admin under Doherty? Remember he was the one that gave the fire and police chiefs raises and I think Janet lowered them.

Janet is not the answer to anything in the city and the only council member that I will vote for in the future is Jack Lascombe, the rest are on their own and their lack luster attempt at being a supermajority is exactly why they will most likely be voted out over the coming years....Too many unfulfilled promises during the campaign.

I have friends that live in the Connell Building and while they thought it was going to fun and a nice place to live they are finding themselves having to walk to their car to go anywhere, but to a bar. It turns out that they thought the downtown would be a little bit more lively and well its not. They are both from the area and grew up here and were warned that unless they are moving to be in the bar scene more that it wasn't going to be worth it, well we'll see if they stay. So far they are not that excited about it.....

Reston you don't hear me bitching about property tax as much as you think you do. The school taxes are out of line, but over all I'm more concerned with the business taxes and the fact that they are prohibitive to me and anyone else that has a business or ideas of expanding their existing business into the city of Scranton.

Christ you have to pay a sign tax if you want to advertise your business with a sign on the front, are you kidding me.

Now you know why there are so many bars in the city that don't have any signs or indications that they are even there. i.e. Glass Onion is good example, just a door.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-19-2011, 02:49 PM
 
Location: NE PA
7,939 posts, read 9,720,147 times
Reputation: 4276
Quote:
Originally Posted by RestonRunner86 View Post
Wilkes-Barre's mayor is NOT inept.

Not so sure about that one!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-19-2011, 02:51 PM
 
Location: NE PA
7,939 posts, read 9,720,147 times
Reputation: 4276
Quote:
Originally Posted by weluvpa View Post
Now you know why there are so many bars in the city that don't have any signs or indications that they are even there. i.e. Glass Onion is good example, just a door.
The Dugout too. But I always thought that they had no sign and didn't make the building look like a bar to keep out the riff raff.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-19-2011, 03:12 PM
 
1,303 posts, read 1,545,934 times
Reputation: 728
Reston,
The State Supreme Court gave the raises, not Evans, But far be it for me to let the facts get in the way of your BS..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Options
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2011 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $84,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Pennsylvania > Northeastern Pennsylvania
Similar Threads

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:54 PM.

2005-2014, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 - Top