Improving A Tamaqua Neighborhood

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TAMAQUA -- An old bar in Schuylkill County has a new owner.  A non-profit organization recently bought it.

The group's goal is to crack down on crime in what used to be a vibrant community.

Janis Wenzel of Tamaqua works at getting her garden ready for winter. She remembers how vibrant her neighborhood once was.

"There used to be barber shops there, houses over there were the parking lot used to be. There used to be a candy store over there, a furniture store over there in the parking lot. That was many moons ago," Wenzel said.

Wenzel's neighborhood has changed. Officials say there is an increase in crime on Mauch Chunck Street including at the Tiki Bar, which closed about a year and a half ago.

The bar was purchased by the Tamaqua Community Safety Initiative, a nonprofit citizen crime fighting organization.

T.S.I's Leona Rega said the building has a lot of potential.  She adds that buying the structure expands their goals.

"We have been working with the residents on how to report crime and tips to give them some involvement and every citizen has a role in the safety of the community."

The purchase of the bar is another step to make the neighborhood a better and safer place. The plan is to have someone turn the bar into a viable business.

Linda Yulanavage is the executive director of the Tamaqua Chamber of Commerce.

"It gives us the opportunity to improve the neighborhood and have some control over what type of business would go into it," Yulanavage explained.

Wenzel said she hopes the plans for the building works.

"Well, I hope they can do good, but the way things are Mauch Chunck Street isn't very healthy right now."

"If you want more information about the former Tiki bar or are an investor who may want to buy it, give the Tamaqua Chamber of Commerce a call or click here.