What’s Next for the Hotel Sterling Site?

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WILKES-BARRE -- The countdown is on: two days until demolition is scheduled to begin on the Hotel Sterling in Wilkes-Barre. City leaders have not announced any plans for what will be built in its place.

As the paint continues to chip, the crane and the city of Wilkes-Barre are ready to tear down the Hotel Sterling.

Over the years, the historic hotel has become an eyesore.

"It invokes memories, but it`s really got to go."

With demolition set to start in the next few days, there`s only one question left. What will replace the Hotel Sterling? The city doesn`t know and used the mayor`s Facebook page to ask people what they`d like to see in its place. So we took to the streets to do the same thing.

"I think it`d be a good spot for a mini mall, and if they could acquire the lot next door, i think they`d have plenty of parking, and I think plenty of people would stop in there," said Warren Hill, of Wilkes-Barre.

"Probably a homeless shelter because there`s a lot of homeless people around here."

Lillian McCaskill-Noble also suggested a shelter or some kind of service for the community.

"There`s a lot of people around here in this area struggling. Or even something affiliated helping with the work like career link," said Lillian McCaskill-Noble, of Wilkes-Barre.

But some people say they don`t know what should replace the hotel Sterling. They say it should be something that represents the city, but they also don`t want to see it become an eyesore like the hotel did.

Donna Yonkondy owns the Center City Café just down the street from the hotel.

"You could put a park, monuments, beautify it, but then what happens in the evening when homeless people are living in the park?" said Center City Café owner Donna Yonkondy.

Facebook suggestions included a skate park, restaurants, or dorm rooms.  The city spokesperson says it`s too early to speculate since it's unclear if the city will own the property after demolition. But that`s not stopping people from talking about it and coming up with their own ideas.