SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – Nearly two years after a developer bought an empty office building in downtown Scranton it is finally coming back to life.
After months of construction, the former Samters Building has now been turned into apartments.
The first tenants have just started moving into the building at the corner of Lackawanna and Penn Avenues.
While construction is still wrapping up on the second floor, everyone should be moved in by the middle of December.
The Samters building was once a clothing store in downtown Scranton.
The century-old building has now been transformed into a total of 24 apartments.
All but two of them have already been rented out.
“It’s amazing just to see the project from start to finish. So much work has gone into it and so many people have been here, especially for the tenants that have signed on without seeing the units,” property manager Leanna Skaluba said.
The five-story building is a piece of downtown Scranton’s history.
After the clothing store closed, it became government offices but even those shut down.
After sitting empty for years, developer Charles Jefferson saw potential in it.
Many locals say the fact that it filled up so quickly with renters, even with just a design, means something.
“It brings a lot of people in. It’s a beautiful area. What does it say? It says that Scranton is on its way to being the kind of city its always been before,” Marian Gilbride of Scranton said.
While a few residents are empty-nesters who no longer want to own their own homes, property managers say the overwhelming majority of tenants are young professionals that work in the city or just outside of it and want to live where the action is.
The rent begins at $875/month but goes up based on the square footage of each apartment.
What sticks out about the building most is the amount of windows it has.
“It’s really awesome down here. Great views, tons of light in every apartment here so it is really a great location!” Skaluba said.
The developer involved in this project also recently renovated the old Connell Building and the Mulberry Towers building across from Scranton City Hall. Both of those facilities remain full with a combined 128 apartments.
The first floor of the former Samters Building is expected to be retail space.
Owners are still working to find a tenant to fill that area.