Scranton reality Photo tour....... (Reading, Wilkes-Barre: city hall, for rent, hotels)
Northeastern PennsylvaniaScranton, Wilkes-Barre, Pocono area
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Well I have always said that there is no shortage of office or retail space in the downtown, only to be told by council that there is a "need" for more downtown space and even a few on this forum think that we "need" more downtown space so I went for a ride.......
Following Pauls lead I did a photo tour of downtown Scranton of all the visibly empty for rent/lease space in the downtown.
I'll try to do it by street, so we'll see........
This is a newly renovated retail space directly across from the mall on Lackawanna ave.
Former Citizens bank with office space above on the corner of wyoming and lackawanna.
Oppenheim Building on the corner of wyoming and lackawanna ave 36,000 sq. ft of office space.
Office space above Alexanders Spa corner of N. Washington and lackawanna.
Retail spaces at the end of Lackawanna between the city's two largest hotels.
610 Spruce st..
Prime retail space across from courthouse in Scranton Life building 500 blk of Spruce st. Next to Northern Lights.
426 Spruce st.
KOZ space above the Martini Bar 416 Spruce st.
KOZ space next to the Martini bar and above 414 Spruce st.
414 Spruce st.
400 Blk Spruce st... Fomer Boccardo Jewelers building, they moved to Jefferson ave.
Helen Swartz building empty office and retail space, corner Spruce and Penn.
Medical Office building corner of Spruce and Franklin.
Prime newly renovated space in the Scranton Laundry building 300 blk Linden.
Retail space 400 blk Linden
Flashbacks nightclub corner of N. washington and Linden.
American Warhorse building 100 blk Mulberry st.
Retail space in the PDQ building 200 blk Mulberry st.
Corner of Mulberry and N. Washington across from city hall.
Here is a list of the ones that I didn't get pics of.
Scranton Enterprise Center
Scranton bakery building
Gianetta Music Building 2 store fronts
600 block two buildings
I left two major projects off the list because I wanted to show that there is NO REAL NEED for them.
They are the Connell Building and the 500 Blk of Lackawanna.
Our city gov't, our mayor has been selling the public on the notion that Scranton is busy and we NEED additional retail and office space in the city. We have been spoon fed stories by the paper that these projects are VITAL to the recovery of the city and that the massive expenditure of taxpayer money on these white elephants was needed in order to revive the city.
Why can we not fill the vast amount of existing space first? The wage tax 3.4% and mercantile tax 3.0 on business and their employees in the city of Scranton thats why. The developers and politicians are the only ones that are going to benefit from these projects.... The money is going to these contracts instead of back into the city and they have not changed anything but add more space.
By not changing the tax structure and only offering temporary koz spaces is a short term attempt to draw in business instead of offering them some long term incentives to open here and stay. These projects are only supposed to work and last as long as the current admin, they need the PR but in reality nothing has changed.
Lets not forget that the vast majority of the empty spaces on Linden and the 200 Blk of Wyoming have been bulldozed by the city for free for the so called developers that will and have not done anything but take down the pub charles and hit the wall on public funding...NO money no progress.
The city removed these structures because its supposed to show progress, closing the street and making the paper and the news shows progress...There will be no follow thru and the land will sit empty like it has.
The facade that is painted by the mayor and the paper leads one to believe that there is movement in the downtown, well there is and its the city's bulldozers doing the work of hiding the lack of progress.
I would have no interest in moving to that.... Unkempt is another feeling I had, when walking Scranton last weekend. When I drove under the mall, I had difficulty getting a parking space. I was almost asphyxiated with the lack of ventilation. Lots of monoxide goes up the escalators with the customers! (That's another issue!) Plenty of people in the mall! Outside, Scranton was deserted.
I'll have to invite Paul down-river to Bloomsburg when an artwalk or the HotRod Gridlock is happening. Here you can walk to many many places and the feeling is good! This is a town, and lacks the urban sprawl that creates downtown voids.......
I've been lead to believe that downtown Scranton was some thriving, progressive metropolis. By the way Mayor Doherty talks, you'd think that Scranton was some east coast Beverly Hills or something. Those pictures are a bit of a surprise to me. I haven't been to downtown Scranton in a while. I had no idea there were so many abandoned, empty buildings. Pictures don't lie.
Wow...pictures don't lie! You should make a zip file of all of those pics and send them to the media....maybe try to convince one of the major papers to do a feature story on this...I think it would be pretty eye opening news to people who have been convinced that Scranton is some vibrant, booming city.
That is a shame. I don't see where that downtown area can go from here.......
It would have to change into something like the Market Commons I posted that is here in SC.
Something vibrant, and inviting........
What is there now won't work.......Sadly many towns are no longer active.
Times change. With all the action up on the Dickson City mountain, everything at someones fingertips. They are not heading to the shut down town anylonger........
Strange how some towns make it and some don't. Denville, NJ has been a thriving town forever.
Yet...Dover not far away from Denville is shut down just like Scranton.
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Dan, with all due respect as I fully appreciate your enthusiasm to your cause, what exactly were you trying to accomplish here? This problem or urban sprawl leading to retail vacancies in our urban centers is not by any means unique to Scranton. You could take a stroll through any Rust Belt city, be it Youngstown, Syracuse, Buffalo, Rockford, Racine, Toledo, or Reading and see similar sights. Tens of thousands of people have fled each and every one of these cities since the 1950s, and many businesses have followed the flow of customers out to the suburbs to establish themselves nearer to them. Major employers have followed suit. In a sadistic way I hope gas prices hit $7/gallon in 2010 so that we can hopefully start to reverse this disturbing trend of tearing down vast swaths of woodlands in NEPA for tract housing and strip malls as our downtown cores continue to rot, as shown in your photos.
My point is that Scranton is NOT an anomaly with its struggles. Its downtown is far ahead of the downtowns in Hazleton, Carbondale, Nanticoke, Plymouth, Pittston, Binghamton, Elmira, and possibly even Wilkes-Barre (although I think both of these downtowns are now similar in terms of redevelopment momentum). Are you trying to make a political point here? Where you see urban blight, I see potential.
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