DICKSON CITY — A century-old silk mill that many people in Lackawanna County may remember as a hardware store is about to get a new purpose.
A developer known for renovating old industrial buildings has started work on the old Convenient Hardware store in Dickson City.
Some of the signs saying “Convenient Hardware” are now on the ground at its former site on Bowman Street in Dickson City. The hardware store is what most people remember this building as, but its history goes back much further.
“Well, I felt that it was a shame, because it was a big building and it was really nice on the outside with the brick and everything. It’s good that somebody can use it,” said neighbor Michelle Bell.
Over the past few weeks, Bell and her neighbors have noticed activity at the building. A company called J. Bas Realty from Jessup plans to convert the old silk mill along the railroad tracks into a luxury apartment complex.
The architect said there will be 20 apartments. The outside of the building will not look much different than it has for 100 years.
“I think it’s needed and hopefully it brings in a good crowd not a bad crowd. They’re going to have plenty of parking and I don’t think it will affect us in any way. I hope they’re railroad fans because the train runs a couple times a day,” added neighbor Jeff Delguercio.
The building was built back in the early 1900s as the Bliss Silk Throwing Company.
Turning old industrial buildings into residential space is something this company has done before. J. Bas Realty renovated the former specialty records plant in Olyphant into apartments that opened earlier this year and are already filled.
The company hopes this project is just as successful.
“I think those projects are successful because they are offering something that’s really not offered in the marketplace. They are more a higher end lot type apartment project. I think that’s why they are probably so successful,” said architect Joseph Descipio.
Plans are for the apartments to be open in the spring of 2016.