The state of Pennsylvania could pull the latest big money grant for the Hotel Sterling in downtown Wilkes-Barre if wrecking crews demolish the historic structure.
In September Newswatch 16 reported the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development awarded CityVest a $290,000 grant. The money came from the state's share of casino revenues.
CityVest is the non-profit that owns the Hotel Sterling property, and if it wants to collect the $290,000, it must spend the grant money for its stated purpose, which was to secure the building, stop the deterioration, and preserve it until a developer can be found to refurbish it.
If CityVest decides to demolish the structure, it may not get the casino money.
CityVest has the option of refiling its application to use the money for demolition instead of preservation. The state agency's board of directors would decide if it would receive or reject the change.
Keep in mind, the Hotel Sterling project was one of 17 applications awarded the casino money in September. Fifty-nine communities and non-profit agencies were rejected.
If CityVest chooses demolition and the state's economic development agency decides to pull money from the project, the $290,000 will be added to the casino gambling fund to be awarded sometime this coming fall.