WILKES-BARRE --- New shops and eateries are coming to the heart of Wilkes-Barre. But there is a struggle to fill several empty landmark buildings.
Contractors are busy building the frame for a new hotel off Highland Park Boulevard near interstate 81 in Wilkes-Barre Township.
Not far away, a Longhorn Steakhouse is going up at a new plaza on Bear Creek Boulevard but in downtown Wilkes-Barre, some storefronts remain vacant.
Around 40 empty storefronts have been filled in downtown Wilkes-Barre since 2007.
"We have some spaces as a result that are spectacular spaces and that ultimately as our downtown revitalization continues, are certainly going to be put to good use. "."
Larry Newman said, "It will likely be left to building owners. To make pricey renovations. So these large spaces, including the former Citizens Bank lobby, will be leased.
Newman also said that's just what happened at the Southside Bistro on South Main Street. The first french restaurant in the city, opened last week, in a century old building that also used to be bank.