WILKES-BARRE – There’s some very good news for two businesses in Wilkes-Barre’s downtown.
Those shops are among a row of buildings condemned by the city just one week ago.
Thursday night at city council’s meeting, members said those two occupied locations will not be torn down.
The row of properties on South Main Street in Wilkes-Barre is surrounded by barricades because four buildings there were condemned just one week ago.
The city said three of the properties are on the verge of collapsing and must come down immediately.
The city ordered the two businesses there to leave within five days.
Michaelene Coffee owns Place One at the Hollywood and is fighting to stay in her store that has been there for 22 years.
“I’ll be heartbroken, I don`t want to leave, I don`t want to leave, I want to stay and it tends to get emotional now because we`re at that final hour,” said Coffee.
However, now Coffee`s store and the other store, Frank Clark Jewelers, appears to be gotten a reprieve at that 11th hour.
Wilkes-Barre City Council voted to begin tearing down this row on Monday but said Place One and Frank Clark Jewelers will be saved.
“We are not going to demolish in any way the Hollywood shop or Frank Clark Jewelers and we are going to try to save the front façade,” said Bill Vinsko, the city attorney for Wilkes-Barre. “We have found a way to do it. Our bid packages actually require that our demo contractors come in and address this with the structural engineers as to how to do this.”
As for that order to vacate, Coffee said, “Today is the fifth day so unless I can work something out with them, in between midnight tonight and tomorrow.”
But the city says Coffee has nothing to worry about, she will not be fined.
“Absolutely not, in fact we are working with her, and we will be working with her after this meeting tonight to address these issues,” said Vinsko.
The city will take bids for the demolition work at city hall Friday until 1:30 p.m.
The bids will be opened at 2 p.m. with the job going to the lowest bidder.