Decades since a new residential building rose up in Scranton’s downtown, developer Charles Jefferson plans to break ground on a new, six-story apartment and retail center next year.
Jefferson purchased three lots between 337 Jefferson Ave. and 341 Jefferson Ave. late last month for $1,075,000 from a firm co-managed by Gerald and Joseph Ferrario, according to property records. The lots currently appear to be used for parking.
Jefferson said Friday he plans to construct a brand new apartment building with at least 100 apartments and ground-floor retail. The building plans are in the design phase and he expects to have a preliminary design in the next few weeks.
He said he wants to wait out current “craziness” in building material prices before he begins construction and expects that may happen in the first or second quarter of 2022.
Jefferson declined Friday to identify which retailer may move into the planned building’s ground floor, saying he was “not at liberty to discuss it at this point in time,” but said it would be “consumer oriented.”
The project comes amid a flurry of downtown development in recent years by Jefferson and other developers, but has focused on renovating existing structures. Jefferson said it’s been many years since a new private, residential structure has been built from ground up in the city’s downtown.
Scranton City Council President Bill Gaughan said the planned development is welcome news, adding “any time you have cranes in the air in downtown Scranton,” jobs and growth flow from it.
“All these things feed off each other and it’s outstanding,” Gaughan said.
Jefferson previously shared the idea with Bob Durkin, president of the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce, who said Friday the planned development is “another opportunity for downtown to grow.”
Aside from providing new downtown residences, the new building would improve the aesthetics of a major corridor which Durkin called an “important gateway to the downtown.”
“It isn’t just Charlie, it’s four or five developers who continue to see the value of Scranton and the future,” Durkin said. “This downtown shows well.”