Developer Hopes New Buildings Will Bring Business

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Economic officials in Lackawanna County have plans to build two huge facilities, but keep them empty in hopes that companies elsewhere will want to bring their business, and jobs, here.

Almost a dozen economic officials broke ground in an empty lot for what will become empty buildings at the Valley View Business Park in Jessup.

Its builders say the empty buildings, or flex buildings, are an investment that will hopefully bring new companies and new jobs to Lackawanna County.

"I'd love to see some manufacturing, I'd love to see some offices, I'd love to see some bioscience companies, new developing companies," said Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce President Austin Burke.

There are no official tenants lined up to use the new buildings. But, officials say there are interested companies.

Mericle Real Estate is building the warehouses. The first is scheduled to be finished this fall.

The plans call for two separate buildings, work on the first one is already underway. It will be about 100,000 square feet. Once that's full, work will begin on a second building right next to it that will be about twice the size.

"It shows that the economy is picking up again, it shows that companies are looking, it shows that you need to have inventory ready if you want to be successful in attracting them here," added Burke.

These flex buildings will be an addition to the growing Valley View Business Park. And like the other lots, they are tax-free for the first ten years.

As the new offices are being built, The Borough of Jessup will start gaining about $1 million a year from the original businesses in the park.

"If they weren't going to do it here, then they would do it somewhere else. So, we are better off doing it here than someplace else," said Jessup Borough Council President James Bernozzi.

Officials aren't saying which businesses are interested in filling these spaces. But, they hope to have the first building filled before it's completed this year.