Downtown vigor building

Downtown vigor building

As appeared in The Times Tribune on December 3, 2016 by The Editorial Boad.

Block by block, once-stagnant downtown Scranton has become a focus for redevelopment.

The Scranton Counseling Center in the 300 block of Adams Avenue.
(Times-Tribune File)

This week, state Sen. John Blake announced that the Scranton Counseling Center will move from the 300 block of Adams Avenue to a former industrial building in South Scranton, as part of a $9 million project by developer Charles Jefferson. Mr. Blake announced the deal because it includes a $1 million state grant.

That raises the prospect for redevelopment of the current counseling center location, which has been the mental health agency’s headquarters for 30 years. Although no plan has been announced, upper floors of other properties in that busy block have been converted into apartments, often rented by students at the nearby University of Scranton.

Several restaurants, bars and a theater already have been developed on the block, in buildings that once hosted retail businesses.

The Scranton and Lackawanna County governments should ensure that clients have access to transportation to the relocated counseling center.

Downtown Scranton is beginning to show that the trend to residential redevelopment is paying off. Each new development seems to facilitate more, as supporting businesses arise to take advantage of the new, and often younger, residents’ presence. Scranton’s government and civic leaders should do all that they can to help maintain the momentum.

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