SCRANTON -- Fresh off the opening of its newest and biggest campus building, the University of Scranton has picked up property downtown, and it’s causing some controversy.
The Adlin building on the corner of Adams Avenue and Linden Street has been home to stores and law offices in the past, and it’s newest owner is the University of Scranton.
Though officials said they’re not sure how the university will use the building, others said one thing is for sure, that the downtown landscape is changing.
Courthouse Square in Scranton has always been a place for business. Now, the anchor of downtown Scranton has an academic tenant. The University of Scranton owns quite a bit of property off of its main campus, but it’s newest piece, the Adlin building, is the university’s first on Courthouse Square.
"We do have a need for additional office space off-campus, it was just a good opportunity. It’s a beautiful building, it’s a historic building, it’s just a good opportunity that became available," said University of Scranton spokesperson Stan Zygmunt.
Zygmunt works for the University of Scranton public relations office. His office and a few other university departments have been leasing parts of the Adlin building for two years.
Now that the building is university owned, Zygmunt said soon it will be off the city tax roll.
The University of Scranton is buying the building at a time when there’s already a lot of empty businesses downtown. The Adlin building is home to one business, and its owner’s said their storefront could be empty too.
"We have asked them to let us know in a due diligence time frame to let us know if they are not going to renew our lease. Which would help us if we do have to relocate," said Matt Drace.
Drace runs Lavish Body & Home, the store’s been in the Adlin building for five years. Drace said he thinks in order for the University of Scranton to keep its tax-exempt status, his business will have to leave.
University of Scranton officials said they’ll honor the rest of Lavish Body & Home's lease, but they don’t know what their plans will be for the future.
"We just acquired the building, so the university will be looking at how to best utilize the building in the long-term," added Zygmunt.