Pashinski applauds ISRP funding for former Sears Roebuck site in Wilkes-Barre

WILKES-BARRE, Nov. 28 – Calling it a victory for the greater Wilkes-Barre area, state Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski, D-Luzerne, applauded Gov. Tom Wolf’s announcement that Wilkes-Barre will receive $680,375 in funding through the Industrial Sites Reuse Program to remediate a building at 116 S. Main St. in Wilkes-Barre.

“This grant funding will allow the city to clean up an old unoccupied building and restore it to prolific and beneficial use,” Pashinski said. “The restoration will increase property values on the entire block and allow the building to become an asset to our community again. I’m extremely thankful to Governor Wolf and the Department of Community and Economic Development for seeing the potential of this site and approving the necessary funding to clean it up.”

The former manufacturing site contains a 60,000-square-foot building that previously held a furniture store and then a Sears Roebuck department store. ISRP funds will be used to remove asbestos, lead based materials, PCB containing light ballasts, mercury containing components and other hazardous materials. Following remediation, Wilkes University plans to acquire the land and renovate the building to become a multi-use facility containing classrooms, bookstore and retail space and meeting space.

The ISRP offers grants and low-interest loan financing to perform environmental site assessment and remediation work at former industrial sites. Grants and loans are available for public entities, private nonprofit economic development entities and companies involved in reuse of former industrial land as long as they did not cause or contribute to the need for remediation.