MOUNTAIN TOP -- Renovations are underway on a building in Luzerne County that has been empty for several years. A former auto body shop is being transformed into a shopping plaza and it's expected to open within a month.
The former auto shop in Mountain Top has been empty for nearly three years but recently there's been a little more noise at the site.
The building has new owners and renters including Peter Steffan. They are renovating and plan to reopen the building
"We're so excited. I feel like I'm 12 again on Christmas. This is, we're so jacked up," said Steffan, the owner of Tasty Turtle Frozen Yogurt.
The building's new name is The Summit Plaza. It's owned by the Thomas family from Mountain Top.
The building was empty for almost three years until the family bought it about a year and a half ago. Since then the space has been broken up into nine store fronts which the family rents out to businesses.
There's still some snow at the construction site. The team says the unpredictable weather has affected, even delayed finishing up the project. But, now that construction is almost complete. Six new store fronts including a café-style bistro, karate studio, insurance agency, and the Tasty Turtle Frozen Yogurt owned by Steffan, are set to open within the next few months.
"One of the things about Mountain Top, there's never anything to do. That's what the kids always say. 'There's nothing to do, there's nothing to do.' So, we're trying to bring something up here for them to do," Steffan added.
Neighboring businesses are glad to see the empty space put to good use. They say the mini-boom in business will help the entire mountain.
"It's going to bring a lot more people to the area. It's going to bring a lot more people to all these local business, from Wychocks, to us, to Pool Guys, King Pizza. Everyone is going to benefit from them," said Cameron Cox, a sales representative at Verizon Wireless.
Folks eating lunch at King's Pizza, a restaurant nearby, are looking forward to the convenience of a one-stop shop mini plaza.
"(It's) always nice to have something closer to home, too."
Steffan plans to open the Tasty Turtle by the end of the April. Two store fronts in the plaza have yet to be rented.