Business Incubator Coming to Sunbury

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SUNBURY -- The mayor of Sunbury would like to see new businesses open in the city, and Wednesday night he announced plans to make that happen. Next month, a business incubator is scheduled to open in the city as a way to help new and existing businesses.

Mayor David Persing believes Sunbury is in a good place in 2013. During his state of the city address, he announced plans for a Keystone Innovation Zone incubator, which will be located on Chestnut Street. Persing said the incubator will help bring more businesses and help existing companies in Sunbury.

"We can not only show them a piece of property they can use, we can also take them down, put them in an office and have them talk to professionals to see how we can help them out," said Mayor David Persing.

Persing said the incubator will help develop new companies and help existing companies in Sunbury. Sports Zone Toys and Comics opened last September on Market Street. Owner Jason Bailets said it is not easy to open a new business.

"Well you have to get licenses from the state and a lot of permits for signs and it just takes time to do that and money as well," said Bailets.

Bailets hopes the incubator will bring more businesses to Sunbury.

"Rather than have empty buildings in town to have them all full. It will bring more people to this area and help all of us," said Bailets.

The mayor also addressed the future of the former Celotex site on North Front Street. He is in talks with the owner about what projects could be in store for the land.

"There's two warehouses in there now that have been remodeled. One is being used for the bread industry and one is empty. It's a brand new fixed up warehouse, so hopefully that will make it more marketable," said Persing.

Persing said possible plans include a hotel, college campus or retail space.

"Create jobs, I guarantee they'd all be safe jobs. It's around the neighborhood so we want to blend in with the people who live there at the same time," said Persing.

Persing also discussed demolishing and fixing up problem properties in Sunbury. His goal is to seize 100 houses in the next nine years.