A part of Scranton's south side will get a much-needed facelift because of funding from area casinos.
In about two years, the 500 block of Cedar Avenue in Scranton will look much different. The beginnings of a major revitalization project are already there.
Across from Florita's Bakery on Cedar Avenue is an empty lot that will eventually be filled by brand new townhomes.
"It looks a lot better, compared to the rotting houses that were across the street. A total eyesore for us," said Florita's employee Yesenia Alarcon.
United Neighborhood Centers in Scranton is heading up the project. One new building is already finished, but new funding will help pay for construction of the townhomes and close to 30 other apartments in existing buildings.
Only one building, that houses the Vac-Way store, still needs to be torn down. The rest will be restored.
"It's new, and it's a safe place for people to live, and it changes the idea of Cedar Avenue as a scary place to live to a safe and secure place to live," said Martin Fotta of United Neighborhood Centers.
People who already call Cedar Avenue home and business owners who set up shop there said this stretch of south Scranton has a lot of potential and the new housing will make the neighborhood safer and better for business.
"It's exciting, and I'm really looking forward to other businesses coming in here and making a major change here on south side," said business owner Connie Catapano.
Officials with the United Neighborhood Centers in Scranton said now that they've received the new funding, construction will start up in the spring.